In simply pitiful news, a twenty-five-year-old woman is facing felony charges after she faked having terminal cancer in order to get a free wedding and honeymoon. Jessica Vega has been indicted on five counts of grand larceny and one count of scheme to defraud, according to Yahoo News. Vega lives in New York City, but will be extradited to California where the alleged fraud was committed.
In 2010, Vega claimed that she was dying from acute myeloid leukemia and that her one wish was to marry her fiancé and father of her child, Michael O’Connell. Her family, friends and even strangers came together to give Vega the wedding of her dreams. They bought her a $1,200 wedding dress, wedding rings and flowers for her reception. In addition to paying for all of her wedding costs, she and her fiancé were given a free trip to Aruba for their honeymoon.
The truly sad thing is that all of her family and friends, including her fiancé, actually thought she was dying. The truth came to light when her then husband O’Connell called Vega’s doctor to check on the status of her condition. To his surprise, he was told that she was never a patient. He reported the entire story to the Times-Herald Report and divorced Vega soon after. Apparently the two couldn’t stay away from each other because they have reunited and now have a second child.
“She’s a good mom, and that’s all that counts at the end of the day,” O’Connell told the paper. “I want my kids to have their mother back.”
O’Connell believes that the proper punishment for Vega is for her to repay all of the wedding donors and get mental health treatment instead of jail time.
This doesn’t seem likely as New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderm is determined to put Vega behind bars.
“By pretending to have a terminal illness, Vega inexcusably took advantage of the community’s hearts and minds, and profited off of their generosity,” Attorney Schneiderman told the paper. “Our office will hold this individual accountable for fleecing the public through lies and deception.”
How far would you go for your dream wedding?