Fraudster fake cancer mum Melissa Quinn at Casino Local Court in April. Picture: Marc Stapelberg/Northern Star
Fraudster fake cancer mum Melissa Quinn at Casino Local Court in April. Picture: Marc Stapelberg/Northern Star

Fake cancer mum gets jail time

A NSW mother who faked having cancer and ripped off sports organisations, charities and her home town has been sentenced to at least nine months in jail.

Melissa Irene Quinn of Casino on the NSW Far North Coast, previously pleaded guilty to making a false document to obtain a financial advantage, using a false document to obtain a financial advantage, and dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception.

Before the 34-year-old's guilty plea, police alleged she raised tens of thousands of dollars after claiming cancer diagnoses, faking bouts of brain, leg and ovarian cancer between 2014 and 2016.

In 2014, the mother of four told a local newspaper in northern NSW she had inoperable brain cancer and chances were she had only two years to live.

"I had cancer two-and-a-half years ago in the uterus, so it wasn't a huge surprise that it's come back," she told The Northern Star.

"But I am still overwhelmed and scared."

She claimed the only treatment available was proton therapy, for which she would need to travel to the United States. Quinn raised about $45,000 from her local community of Casino, on the NSW north coast.

 

Melissa Quinn admitted she made up claims she was dying of inoperable cancer. Picture: Supplied
Melissa Quinn admitted she made up claims she was dying of inoperable cancer. Picture: Supplied

 

In Casino Local Court on Wednesday, magistrate David Heilpern sentenced Quinn to two years in jail with a non-parole period of nine months.

Magistrate David Heilpern said: "It was all false, it was all a lie."

"[In] fact she didn't have cancer, she used the money for a holiday," he said.

"The level of dishonestly is simply mind-boggling.

"The motivation for the crime was greed, not need."

But the former cricketer, who played for NSW under-19s, was granted bail pending an appeal.

She was also ordered to pay more than $20,000 in compensation, including $10,000 to the Kerry Packer Cricket Foundation, $5000 to Cabramatta Rugby League Club and the NSW Cricket Association.

Her appeal has been listed for hearing at Lismore Local Court on July 24.

 

Sentenced to a minimum nine months jail, Melissa Quinn is on conditional bail pending a July appeal. Picture: Marc Stapelberg/Northern Star
Sentenced to a minimum nine months jail, Melissa Quinn is on conditional bail pending a July appeal. Picture: Marc Stapelberg/Northern Star


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