A heroin addict named Brittany Ozarowski faked cancer to scam money for her addiction. No one second-guessed her because of what she looked like, an 80 pound, sick woman who used a cane to walk. She even took a picture of herself in a wheelchair, claiming to have stomach cancer as well as stage two ovarian cancer.
Ozarowski admitted conning business owners as well as family members in Long Island, Miller Place community to give her money for fabricated cancer treatments. Instead of treating her fake cancer, she used this money to fuel her heroin habit.
Ozarowski pleaded guilty to forgery, grand larceny, as well as other crimes. She faced up to seven years of prison, but was sentenced to two years of addiction rehab, and three years community service. George Duncan, Ozarowski’s defense attorney said it was “an appropriate sentence given the nature of her offenses, which were morally reprehensible.”
She started her scheming in March 2012 by asking people and business owners in her community to help pay her medical bills. She claimed to have a tumor on her hip, bone cancer that spread to her spine, and brain, and even dedicated a Facebook page, as well as a website to her mission.
People of her community weren't the only ones who were scammed, her own family was deceived as well. Her father drained his retirement fund, and her grandmother sold her home to offer $100,000 for treatment.
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said, “There was no cancer, no chemotherapy, no radiation and no medical bills. There was just heroin.” Ozarowski’s attorney claimes she is embarrassed, horrified, and very remorseful.
Addiction can make people go to extreme lengths. If you are suffering from addiction, or if you know someone who needs help, Passport to Recovery offers a list of addiction treatment centers that can help.