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Woman fined for faking cancer, raising money

RICHMOND, Va. -- A suburban Richmond woman was fined $100 after admitting she faked cancer to raise money.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch said that Martha Ann Nicholas pleaded guilty on Monday to two misdemeanor charges of obtaining money by false pretenses. Besides the fine, she was ordered by a judge to not take part in any charitable causes and placed on five years' probation.

A 12-month jail sentence was suspended, the newspaper reported.

The Mechanicsville woman had claimed at rallies that she was a cancer victim.

Her attorney, Sam Simpson, said Nicholas has made restitution of $1,700, the total she had collected for herself.

Nicholas had been suffering from a psychosomatic condition that made her believe she had a cancer-like illness, Simpson said.

Her family said she is receiving counseling and told the Times-Dispatch that they were relieved she was not going to jail.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.