LOGAN — A 26-year-old Nibley woman has been charged with multiple felonies after police say she faked a cancer diagnosis to steal money from her family, charity organizations and others.
Logan City Police Chief Gary Jensen said a fraud investigation is being conducted on Lesley Elizabeth Jensen who claimed to be diagnosed with advanced stages of glioblastoma brain cancer.
Chief Jensen said as police began to investigate, they found Jensen had created, altered and forged fictitious medical documents to support her claim of having cancer.
“These are events that unfold fairly quickly in a fraud scheme like this,” said Chief Jensen. “The lie gets bigger and bigger and bigger and before too long then the things start to stack against a person and the investigation then goes forward to an arrest.”
Wednesday afternoon, Jensen’s family reported her missing and contacted the Cache County Sheriff’s Office. They claimed to be concerned for her safety and had not been able to contact her for several hours.
A deputy later located Jensen in a 2006 gray Hummer near the Avon Liberty divide, a remote mountainous area in the south end of Cache Valley. She was unconscious but breathing and was transported to Logan Regional Hospital by ambulance. An open bottle of pills were found in the vehicle.
Cache County Attorney James Swink said local individuals, charity organizations and restaurants helped raise money for Jensen’s supposed cancer treatment during the past four months.
“The people that have made these donations are wonderful people in our community,” said Swink. “They are wonderful organizations that help a lot of people. These are work associates that gave up their tips. The restaurant gave all of the proceeds at times. Those are the type of people that have been perpetrated against, people that know Ms. Jensen the very best, including her family. The foundations in Cache County that were at the ready to give assistance and had already given assistance, those are the victims.”
Swink said Jensen has been charged with five counts of communications fraud, a second-degree felony and four counts of forgery, a third-degree felony.
Chief Jensen said police are still trying to determine how much money Jensen was able to steal and are asking the public to contact them if they made a donation to her.
“We anticipate there will be some calls,” said Chief Jensen. “Rather than giving a specific phone number, what we would ask people to do, if they have information that they feel like they are a victim. We would ask that they email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Jensen has not been arrested and remains in the hospital. Her condition is unknown. The investigation is ongoing.
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