Did Yonkers Woman Fake Cancer For Free Wedding Dress?

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — She got a $1,200 wedding dress for free, but now there are reports that 23-year-old Jessica Vega, of Yonkers, faked cancer to get a discounted wedding.

After claiming she had leukemia and less than a year to live, Vega was the recipient of sympathy and good will from members of her community.  Vega said she wanted to marry her fiancée and be with the couple’s baby daughter before she passed away.

Generous strangers in Middletown donated the wedding rings and wedding flowers in addition to the dress.

LISTEN: WCBS 880 Reporter Catherine Cioffi talks with victims of the possible scam

Over the weekend, Vega’s husband said the entire story was based on a lie.  Michael O’Connell told the Times Herald-Record that he believes his wife never had a terminal illness — citing a letter from Dr. Dan Costin stating her diagnosis was fake.

Furthermore, the paper reported that when O’Connell called Costin’s Westchester office, he was told that Vega was “never a patient here.”

Bella Couture Dress Bridal Shop provided the Mona Lisa Royale dress for nothing.

“You can’t help but to feel betrayed and you know scammed by someone who would say that they are dying from a terminal illness,” shop owner Gina Verdes told WCBS 880’s Catherine Cioffi.

However, Verdes said she wouldn’t think twice about helping someone in the future.

“You can’t be soured by it. We still did the right thing. We gave to someone in need and that’s what you do as good people and good business — you give to other people in need,” Verdes said.

O’Connell has filed for divorce and is seeking full custody of the couple’s now 1-year-old daughter.


One Comment

  1. Elle Shapiro / Survive Wedding Season says:

    This is appalling and gross. There are so many people in real need right now that to hear about someone taking advantage of others for indulgent personal gain it just saddens me.

  2. Phew! says:

    Hey, at least her soon-to-be-ex husband found out she was a POS now, rather than 10 years and countless offspring later. Lucky.

  3. satineye says:

    Ahmed Omar, I don’t wish her to get cancer, however I do understand how the these people feel and I am not going to chastise them for it. She was or is a very evil person to do what she did. And by the way, she is getting what she deserves right now…I hope the wedding dress was worth it!

  4. Ahmed Omar says:

    Good God!!! What’s wrong with you people? It is wrong to pretend to have cancer and fool people who were trying to make you last days happy.

    BUT to wish someone to have cancer!!! That is BAD. Sorry to hear some of you lost loved ones to cancer but come on wishing cancer for someone?? How can you actually have it in your heart?

    Please seek help

  5. Bobby says:

    And when she does get cancer, she will be all alone. She lost her husband and daughter because of her lies. She won’t have any friends left either. What goes around comes around – and it comes back worst. She should go to jail and pay back those people she scammed.

  6. charlene says:

    My mother died slowly painfully from cancer. Since this woman took it so lightly, using cancer to scam so many I do hope she has her wish a self fullfilling prophecy I hope she gets cancer the kind that takes over her entire body like it did my mom, the kind that took a beautiful woman weighing 140 down to 40lbs because she couldnt eat due to chemo/radiation for months because of the HOPE she would beat it. This woman needs to understand how cancer feels!

    1. emily says:

      i understand what you mean !! i lost my aunt 7 months ago … watched her slowly leave in the most painful way!! lying about cancer is nothing to joke around about!! god will take care of jessica vega in his own way!! jessica you have made alot of people sick by reading and hearing about this!! i cant believe i ever let someone like you become a “friend” !!! i say lock her up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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