WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Westchester County woman is being sent to prison after faking a terminal cancer diagnosis to scam people out of tens of thousands of dollars in donations.
Vedoutie Hoobraj walked into federal court in White Plains on Friday with a mane of thick black hair however, that’s not how many people in the Village of Ardsley remember her. Hoobraj shaved her head and eyebrows, went by a different name, and lied about having cancer. She then used the charade to scam residents into donating around $50,000 for non-existent treatments.READ MORE: Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo Charged With Misdemeanor Forcible Touching
A judge sentenced her to two years in prison and ordered the scammer to repay $47,000 to the victims Friday.
“She’s a phony, she’s a fraud,” said Robert Wootten, of the Ardsley Football Club, who helped organize a fundraiser to help. “Don’t mess with Ardsley and give the money back.
“Brought her dinners, brought her flowers, checked in,” resident Dawn Byck told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.READ MORE: Inside Look At 9 DeKalb Avenue, Brooklyn's First 'Supertall' Skyscraper
The judge was not swayed by a doctor’s report from the defense that detailed years of abuse when Hoobraj was younger, suggesting that was a factor. The judge said that was just “psychobabble” and called the crimes “truly appalling” and “unforgivable.”
Prosecutors say Hoobraj’s act was so convincing even her own sons and an ex-boyfriend were led to believe she had terminal cancer.
“I know what I did was wrong,” the prison-bound mother of two said. “I will spend the rest of my life becoming the mom you deserve.”MORE NEWS: Student, 14, Arrested With Loaded Handgun At Brooklyn High School
Hoobraj is being given some time to situate her younger high school-aged son with family friends before surrendering to start her prison term on August 27.