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Woman who faked cancer to pay for 'dream wedding' gets time served

Booking photo for Jessica Vega.

An upstate New York woman who faked having cancer to con donors into paying for her wedding and Caribbean honeymoon is being released after less than two months in jail.

Jessica Vega, 25, apologized Wednesday in court in Orange County, New York, for the scam. A prosecutor says she has paid back more than $13,000 to people she victimized.

The judge then sentenced her to time served. Vega was arrested April 3 and pleaded guilty to the scam three weeks later.


Her lawyer says she'll be released later Wednesday from the county jail.

Vega claimed in 2010 that she was dying of leukemia and wanted a "dream wedding" to Michael O'Connell, the father of her baby.

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Prosecutors said Vega raised thousands of dollars with her cancer story, paying for a May 2010 wedding and a honeymoon to Aruba. After news of her plight spread, businesses such as a bridal dress shop and a restaurant donated to her cause.

The Times Herald-Record of Orange County, New York, then reported that Vega's husband had called it four months after the wedding to accuse her of faking the illness. The couple divorced over the incident, O'Connell told the paper. He wasn't charged in the matter.

O'Connell says that Vega will live with his family after her release.

This article includes reporting from NBCNewYork.com, The Associated Press and Reuters.

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