A 44-year-old Iowa woman has been sentenced after pleading guilty to felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from her plot to fake a cancer diagnosis and receive charity from local organizations.
Jennifer H. Mikesell, of Northwood, Iowa – located just south of the Minnesota border near Interstate 35 – pleaded guilty in Worth County District Court on Monday. She received a suspended sentence of 25 years in prison and five years probation.
She won't serve any time in prison after reaching a plea deal that mandates she repay everyone she defrauded in addition to seeking mental health treatment, according to the Globe Gazette.
Mikesell was arrested in December 2019 after being accused of faking a cancer diagnosis, forging notes from doctors at Mayo Clinic, and receiving monetary donations from local charities, the newspaper reports.
She launched a fraudulent GoFundMe and received food deliveries from Meal Train while also receiving a bedroom renovation by a Mason City-based group that specializes in bedroom makeovers for women fighting cancer, court documents say.
In 2015, Mkesell was charged for stealing money from Girl Scouts. She was charged in the early 2000s in Florida for crimes of identity theft and forgery.