CRIME
08/23/2013 02:06 pm ET

Abreail Winkler Allegedly Faked Daughter's Cancer To Scam Donations From Community

A Utah woman is accused of scamming her community out of thousands of dollars by telling people her daughter was diagnosed with cancer.

Abreail Winkler, 30, allegedly paid her own bills with the $3,183 she collected through fundraisers and private donations, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Police say that Winkler "told the girl she had cancer and that she would be treated," assistant chief of the Vernal Police Department Keith Campbell explained to CNN. "When she was around her dad, the little girl would talk about having cancer."

In early July, investigators began a month-long investigation.

"[Police] quickly determined that Abreail Winkler had told people in the community that the 4-year-old had leukemia. During the investigation, it was determined that the child never had leukemia. No records for treatments were located," Cambpell said.

The little girl is now living with her father, Derick Winkler, who claims he had no knowledge of any cancer treatment or a diagnosis for his daughter. He said he was shocked by the news and hopes his ex-wife receives “just a slap on the wrist" for her alleged misdeeds, ABC News reports.

Winkler is charged with one count of third-degree felony communications fraud. Her first court appearance is scheduled for September 9.

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