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Teen accused of pulling in $17,000 through fake cancer claim

A teenager claimed to be dying of cancer but is being accused of faking it to raise money, according to a report out of Texas.

The El Paso Times says that Angie Gomez, 19, was arrested Friday evening and was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail after being indicted on a theft-by-deception charge. The newspaper's website said court documents alleged that the amount was more than $1,500 and less than $20,000.

The Times said Gomez, 4 feet 7 inches tall and weighing 65 pounds, told classmates at Horizon High School in Horizon City that she had had leukemia as a child and the disease had reappeared -- and that doctors in January 2011 gave her six months to live.


Classmates held fundraisers and Gomez got help in forming the Achieve the Dream Foundation, ostensibly to aid families of children with cancer, according to the report.

But six months later, Horizon City police received a complaint that Gomez did not appear to be ill, and an investigation turned up no sign that Gomez ever had cancer.

After subpoenaing bank records for the Achieve the Dream Foundation, investigators estimated Gomez received $17,000 from fundraisers and other donations, the Times reported, saying it was unclear what happened to the money.

The report said police thought Gomez's mother was unaware of the extent of the fundraising.

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