Woman who lied about cancer to collect money for breast enhancement sentenced

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by CATHERINE HOLLAND and CRYSTAL CRUZ

KTVK

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 7:15 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 5 at 1:13 PM

PHOENIX — A woman who lied about having breast cancer so she could collect donations that she later used to pay for breast enhancement surgery was sentenced on Wednesday to one year in jail and three years of probation.

Jami Lynn Toler was expected to surrender herself at the jail by Wednesday. She'll spend the next year — minus two days already served — behind bars.

In addition to the jail time and probation, Commissioner Brian Kaiser also decreed that Toler, 27, must pay up to $20,000 restitution to her 17 victims. She was expected to make an initial payment of $150 Wednesday. Monthly payments of $215 are slated to start on November 1.

Originally charged with theft and fraud, Toler accepted a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to a charge of left last month.

According to police, Toler told friends, family and co-workers that she needed a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction. She also told them she was in a bind because she did not have insurance.

Toler went on to organize and participate in fundraisers and even set up an Internet presence — JamisHope — with the popular donations website GiveForward. Before that page was removed, Toler raised more than $8,300 in donations from people who wanted to help her beat her supposed illness.

Mesa police later obtained medical records that showed Toler used the cash to pay a plastic surgeon for breast implants. She had a consultation for breast augmentation in late October. The surgery was performed in November.

Suspecting Toler was lying about the cancer, Carmen Klemis, one of Toler's former co-workers, called the police.

“Her medical records indicated that there was no breast cancer or anything like that — no issues whatsoever,” Sgt. Anthony Landato with the Mesa Police Department told KTVK's Crystal Cruz in early May.

"The defendant took advantage of the compassion of these victims so that she could pay off an unnecessary and purely cosmetic supra-spectoral breast augmentation," according to court paperwork filed when Toler was arrested.

According to investigators, Toler's refusal of a doctor's offer to treat her cancer for free was beginning of the end for her.

Cruz, who has been following the case for months, caught up with Toler as she entered the court building Wednesday morning to learn her fate. Toler refused to make eye contact and did not say a word.

In court, however, Toler apologized for her crime and told the judge she planned on paying back the money.

Those connected with the case say people should not let Toler's actions keep them from donating to people who really do need help or legitimate organizations.


 

The story up to now

 

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