Cancer faker jailed

A woman who faked cancer and stole from her employers and from charitable funds has been sentenced to three years in prison. Renee Frank pleaded guilty Tuesday to seven offences between November 2009 and December 2012.

MEDICINE HAT — A woman who faked cancer and stole from her employers and from charitable funds has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Renee Frank pleaded guilty Tuesday to seven offences between November 2009 and December 2012.

Court was told Frank began collecting provincial income support payments after claiming she was unable to work due to illness.

She was hired by Community Employment Services for a $40,000 a year position but still collected more than $13,000 in government support.

At the same time, Frank provided her employers with a forged doctor’s letter from the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary stating she was suffering from cancer.

Frank was able to secure reduced work hours and days off for treatment as well as other considerations.

She was terminated in late August 2010 once the forgery was discovered.

Four days after her termination, Frank was hired by Penn West, and used company credit cards to pay bills as well as purchase electronics, hotel stays and other personal expenses.

She also collected nearly $1,500 through Penn West charity drives but kept the money.

Penn West, on discovery of the fraud, repaid those funds to the involved charities.

In the end, the court determined she stole or defrauded $44,000 from various employers, including a wedding supply company, an oilfield firm and a hotel chain.

“It stands patently obvious this woman has no restraint in who she victimizes,” said Judge Darwin Greaves in handing down a three-year federal sentence.

Frank has also been ordered to repay the $44,000.

A 39-year-old Calgary man who faked having cancer and bilked his friends of $7,500 was recently sentenced to six months in jail and ordered to make a donation in that amount to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Kristopher Cook told people he had a malignant tumour and that two fictitious sisters had died of cancer.

He set up a silent auction fundraiser that raised thousands of dollars.

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