Sentence for Iowa woman who faked cancer, received charity

The woman has a history of fraudulent activity.
Publish date:
Screen Shot 2021-01-06 at 11.01.43 AM

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. 

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Next Up

court gavel

8 people charged in Medicaid fraud scheme totaling $860K

Collectively, they're charged with 46 counts of felony theft.


Minnesota gets mixed grades on its tobacco report card

In Minnesota, the economic cost due to smoking is $2.519 million with 5,910 deaths per year attributed to smoking.

Hardy Wills-Traxler

Charges: Man stabbed his father, set his home on fire

The 25-year-old has been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree arson.

Impound lot

Crowded impound lot raises COVID concerns after Minneapolis snow emergency

A vehicle owner complains about the tightly-packed impound lot following the weekend's snow.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, Jan. 27

The latest update from the state health department.


Charges: Bar owner, employee served underage drinkers during shutdown

The bar hosted 20-30 people on Dec. 4, 2020, charges say.

police lights

Driver wearing bulletproof vest strikes pedestrian in Rochester

The 21-year-old claimed the vest keeps him warm, according to police.

Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 8.08.05 PM

6 men charged in connection to 'disturbing trend' of carjackings, shootings

The men are accused of three carjackings in one day, as well as other crimes.

YouTube TV, FSN

Report: Fox Sports North is becoming Bally Sports North

The rebranding will reportedly happen prior to the start of the MLB season.

walmart mask

Wisconsin Senate votes to end statewide mask mandate

The joint resolution now heads to the Republican-controlled state assembly.


Dequarn Bell

Hopkins man receives life sentence for vicious assault, holding woman captive

The 25-year-old pleaded guilty after three weeks of trial.

Blue balloons and a candlelight vigil for slain Iowa police

People packed into a park in Urbandale to remember Officer Justin Martin and Sgt. Anthony Beminio.

Someone created a fake fundraiser in the name of 8-week-old McKenna

The 2-month-old baby was hit in the head by a softball on May 2.


Husband and wife sentenced for fraud scheme through their drywall firm

The Annandale pair bilked an insurance company out of more than $300,000.

Dylan Deling

Minnesota man sentenced for 'sextortion' of 40 girls

An FBI-led investigation led to the alarming discovery.

Large tornado causes catastrophic damage in Marshalltown, Iowa

The Iowa town has suffered major damage from a large tornado.