San Jose woman pleads guilty to faking cancer diagnosis, receiving $106K in donations

Dr. George Sawaya examines patient Susan Lehr at the UCSF Women's Health Center June 21, 2006 in San Francisco, California.
Dr. George Sawaya examines patient Susan Lehr at the UCSF Women's Health Center June 21, 2006 in San Francisco, California. Photo credit Getty Images

A San Jose woman has pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud for soliciting donations from individuals to help her pay for cancer treatments she did not need.

Amanda Christine Riley, 36, purposefully told people she had Hodgkin's lymphoma and was in need of funds to pay for the surgeries that would cure the fraudulent illness, deceiving generous individuals online into sending her money.

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The San Jose woman admitted to accepting monetary donations from 2013 to 2019, raking in a whopping $106,272.

To bait the unsuspecting supporters, Riley posted "updates" on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as a personal blog, encouraging people to follow her fake journey with cancer. She shared photos of her medication, hospital visits and opened up about her difficulties with chemotherapy to seal the deal. She even consistently shaved her head to make it seem as if she was receiving cancer treatment.

Riley is scheduled to be sentenced on February 22, 2022 and faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.