LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KTLA) — A Riverside County, California woman was charged with “theft by false pretenses” after allegedly tricking unsuspecting friends and well-wishers into giving her money and gifts by falsely claiming she had breast cancer.
Cristina Lagman allegedly took thousands of dollars from people who thought the 39-year-old mother was dying from breast cancer, according to the Murrieta Police Department.
Lagman shared pictures on social media of her bald head and posted updates on chemotherapy treatments and her impending death, said friend Valerie Cortez.
According to KTLA, she even attended a fund-raiser held on her behalf at the “Aces Comedy Club” in Murrieta. The club’s owner, Rocky Osborne, said she took the money that was raised that night and went on vacation.
Eventually, her friends became suspicious about Lagman’s claims and called police.
“People started hitting her up on Facebook and asking her to prove that she really had cancer, and as they did that she would start deleting them on Facebook,” said Osborne.
After months of investigating, Lagman was charged on Oct. 21 by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.
Lagman denied the allegations, saying she had “not done anything illegal.”