Woman fakes brain cancer; returns benefit donations

Police in Angola say a woman there will be facing charges after faking cancer and collecting donations during a benefit.
Police in Angola say a woman there will be facing charges after faking cancer and collecting donations during a benefit.

ANGOLA, Ind. (WANE)–Police in Angola say a woman there will be facing charges after faking cancer and collecting donations during a benefit.

Detective Tim Crooks with the Angola Police Department said April Landis, 27, told people she had a rare form of brain cancer.  The newspaper there did a story about her and on March 18, there was a benefit in her name at Sliders.  Folks in the community raised thousands of dollars for Landis during the benefit.  Several businesses were said to have donated prizes, merchandise, and gift certificates.  Landis is said to have come with her head shaved.

There were rumors around Angola that Landis’ benefit was a scam.  Police say Landis spoke with them on Thursday, told them she didn’t have cancer, and returned a large amount of money.

Folks around the community were shocked.

“I just felt sick and I just thought about how it’s going to hurt,” said Debra Keller, whose band played at the Landis benefit.  “She has no idea what she’s done for other cancer victims and people that really need the benefits, because it could really be devastating.”

Police say they’re receiving a lot of calls from people trying to get their donations back.  Crooks said it’s been a mess trying to figure out who is actually entitled to money back.

Police are working to figure out exactly how much money was donated toward Landis.

If you donated money as part of April Landis’ benefit, contact the Angola Police Department at (260) 665-2121 with as much proof and information as possible.  Police will be returning checks, but say the cash donations will be up to the discretion of the court.

If you are in possession of money that people donated in Landis’ name, you’re supposed to turn it in to police.  If you’re holding on to it, you could be held responsible.

Police say Landis is married with four kids and think she lied about having cancer for financial reasons.  She will most likely be facing theft and fraud by deception charges.

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