Police say woman faked cancer to raise ‘treatment’ funds

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Brunswick County

Lisa Carol Yates
Lisa Carol Yates

An Ocean Isle Beach woman has been charged with allegedly using a false claim that she had cancer to gain thousands of dollars in treatment funds.

Lisa Carol Yates, 46, of Seagull Way in Ocean Isle Beach, was arrested Friday evening on charges of solicitation to obtain property by false pretenses and obtaining property by false pretense, according to Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman Emily Flax.

According to an arrest warrant, Yates is charged with soliciting a victim to organize a fund-raising event to raise cash for cancer treatment, when the defendant was not diagnosed with cancer. Yates allegedly obtained about $3,900 in treatment funds.

The victim in the case contacted the sheriff’s office on Dec. 17, 2015 to report her concerns about the suspect, Flax said. The woman reported she thought Yates had not been honest about her cancer diagnosis, Flax added.

The fund-raising event took place on Nov. 15, 2015, Flax said. The event consisted of a softball game, cake walk and a cash donation collection. The suspect allegedly set up a GoFundMe page to raise additional money for treatment, as well as a bank account for the funds.

Detectives were able to obtain Yates’ medical information in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for the purposes of a criminal investigation. Investigators reportedly met Yates’ physician who “indicated she had not been diagnosed with cancer,” Flax said.

The criminal investigation is ongoing, Flax said. Yates was booked at the Brunswick County Jail under a $100,500 secured bond.