Jessica Vega, Bride Who Faked Cancer to Pay For Wedding, Released From Jail
Jessica Vega, a New York woman who faked having cancer so donors would pay for her "dream wedding" and Caribbean honeymoon, was released from jail Wednesday after repaying the guests she conned and agreeing to community service.
Makes that stomach flu you used to skip work last month seem tame at least.
Vega apologized in court for the scam and was sentenced to time served. She had been behind bars less than two months since her arrest.
After her unbelievable stunt unraveled, she pleaded guilty in April to charges of scheming to defraud and possession of a forged instrument.
When she left the Orange County Jail in upstate New York a few hours later, she apologized again, insisting that "of course" she was sorry.
Officials say Jessica Vega had paid back more than $13,000 to her guests, with nine victims getting checks ranging from $500-3,700.
Vega also was sentenced to five years of probation and must do 300 hours of community service while undergoing mental health treatment.
She was living in Montgomery, 60 miles north of NYC, when she began the scam, which picked up steam when a newspaper did a story on her.
Residents of the area, touched by her claim to be dying of leukemia, had donated her dress, the wedding rings, an Aruba time-share and more.
Sometime after the 2010 wedding, the groom, Michael O’Connell, went to the newspaper with questions about Vega’s story, and they divorced.
Police investigated and Vega was arrested in early April in Virginia, where she was surprisingly again living with O’Connell and their two kids.
The judge said he doubted that Vega was the sole perpetrator of the scam. O’Connell said afterward he had "absolutely nothing" to do with it.
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