Woman who faked cancer makes a deal, avoids jail time

Posted at 2:34 PM, Feb 27, 2012
and last updated 2012-02-28 09:32:50-05

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - The woman who claimed she had cancer in order to raise money plead guilty to two counts obtaining money under false pretenses in a Hanover County courtroom Monday.

The judge sentenced Martha Nicholas to 12 months in jail for each charge, but suspended all the jail time. If Nicholas stays out of trouble for five years, she will avoid serving any time behind bars.

Last month Nicholas agreed to a similar plea deal, however substitute Judge Robert Laney rejected that deal and ordered Nicholas to stand trial. He said jail time should be included in her punishment.

Today a different judge heard the plea deal and accepted the terms.

The plea deal included three conditions she must follow:

  1. She must not accept employment with any charitable or civic organization
  2. She cannot solicit funds on behalf of a charitable or civic organization
  3. She is prohibited from speaking on behalf of any charitable or civic organization

Hanover County Prosecutor Trip Chalkley told CBS 6 those conditions were important to the deal because they protected other organizations from being associated with Nicholas.

Nicholas will also pay a $100 fine.

Nicholas was arrested late last year after the Hanover County Sheriff's Office said it received an anonymous tip she was faking her battle with cancer to receive financial support.

Most of the money Nicholas collected actually went to the American Cancer Society, CBS 6's Shelby Brown reported. Those who found out their money actually went to the charity said they didn’t want their money back. Nicholas already paid back the money she received personally. That money totaled around $2000.