Jessica Vega Cancer Charged, 'Dying bride' indicted on fraud grand larceny charges---New York resident Jessica Vega told a newspaper reporter that she was dying of cancer , but hoped to marry the father of her child and have a nice honeymoon before she died.
The community responded to her story and donated thousands of dollars to grant her wishes. But prosecutors now say that Vega made up the whole cancer thing A US woman has been charged with fraud after falsely claiming she was dying of cancer in a bid to get her "dream wedding".
Strangers donated a wedding dress, the rings, and a honeymoon time-share in Aruba to 25-year-old Jessica Vega, who said she had leukaemia.
But the New York state attorney general's office said she had been indicted on charges of fraud and grand larceny, after investigating concerns initially voiced by husband Michael O'Connell.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said: "By pretending to have a terminal illness, Vega inexcusably took advantage of the community's hearts and minds and profited off of their generosity.
"Our office will hold this individual accountable for fleecing the public through lies and deception."
Vega was arrested in Virginia on April 3, and pleaded not guilty after being flown to New York.
Among the alleged victims listed in the indictment is the Nu-Cavu restaurant, where the bridal reception was held and wine and appetisers worth more than $1,000 (£630) were donated.Part owner Carmela Vitolo-Gelsomine said, "We tried to do the best we could for her.
"We thought she was in a situation where she needed help."
Mr Schneiderman said that in 2010, Vega claimed she had just a few months to live and wanted a "dream wedding" to Mr O'Connell, father of her one-year-old daughter.
Her cause spread quickly around the region, helped by a story in the Times Herald Record.
The newspaper said Vega showed a reporter what she said was a doctor's letter confirming the diagnosis.
The pair were married in May 2010, but four months later, Mr O'Connell expressed suspicions to the newspaper, saying he believed the doctor's letter was fake.
Vega insisted she had not lied, although one charge in the indictment says she was in possession of a forged document.
The couple divorced, but the Times Herald Record has reported that Mr O'Connell said they had been living together again in Virginia and had a second child.
He said: "She's a good mom. I want my kids to have their mother back."
If convicted of fraud or grand larceny, Vega could be sentenced to between 16 months and four years in prison on each of the six counts
Strangers donated the beautifully embroidered wedding dress, the two rings, the honeymoon time-share in Aruba. They acted quickly, too, because the bride was dying of cancer. Or so she said.
The state attorney general's office announced Tuesday that Jessica Vega, 25, has been indicted on charges of fraud and grand larceny for getting her "dream wedding" by falsely claiming she was dying of leukemia.
"By pretending to have a terminal illness, Vega inexcusably took advantage of the community's hearts and minds, and profited off of their generosity," said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. "Our office will hold this individual accountable for fleecing the public through lies and deception."
Vega, formerly of Montgomery, N.Y., was arrested in Virginia on April 3, extradited to New York and arraigned Friday in Orange County Court in Goshen. She pleaded not guilty. A call to the Legal Aid firm that represented her was not immediately returned.
Among the alleged victims listed in the indictment is the Nu-Cavu restaurant in Wallkill, where the bridal reception was held and wine and appetizers worth more than $1,000 were donated. Part-owner Carmela Vitolo-Gelsomine said, "We tried to do the best we could for her. We thought she was in a situation where she needed help."
Others listed as victims are the boutique that donated the wedding dress, and a woman who volunteered to do hair and makeup for the bride and seven bridesmaids.