(KMOV) – A Belleville woman faces charges after police say she raised thousands of dollars under the guise of having terminal cancer.
Alissa Jackson, 31, was charged Wednesday with two counts of felony theft. Her bond was set at $100,000. She was scheduled to be arraigned in St. Clair County court at 1:30 p.m.
The arraignment comes a day after two whistleblowers, who wish to remain anonymous, told News 4 Jackson claimed to have stage four ovarian cancer. She told them the cancer was spreading to her organs and brain.
Both whistleblowers say fundraisers were held for Jackson and her family. They claim she received thousands of dollars in cash and gifts, which included a van and vacation trips.
“On just the fundraisers alone some of them were big some of them were small but it adds up to roughly $35,000,” one whistleblower said.
After a series of perceived lies, the whistleblowers began to question whether the woman was telling the truth and called a private investigator before going to Belleville police.
Police investigated and learned Jackson has never had cancer. They say she raised thousands of dollars through a fund called “Alissa’s Army.” News 4 also obtained a flyer from a 2013 “Benefit 4 Alissa,” fundraiser, which featured a poker run, silent auction, raffle and 50/50 drawing.
The caption of the flyer reads “Alissa has Stage IV Ovarian Cancer and has continued to work for the past year and a half until recently as a Nurse. She is married with five beautiful children.”
At one point Jackson even had a cancer support Facebook page.
“Initially I think we were shocked and didn’t want to believe it. And then it goes into how could she do this not only to her kids but other people who have gone through cancer,” one whistleblower said.
Belleville police say Jackson’s scam had an international reach, with people around the world calling authorities in relation to the case.
“To the hundreds of people who donated to ‘Alissa’s Army’: Do not let Jackson’s evil prevent you from helping people in the future,” Belleville police said in a statement Wednesday.