A mother faked cancer to raise money for gambling and luxury holidays.
- Nicole Elkabbas, 42, faked a cancer diagnosis to raise money for online gambling and vacations.
- The mother-of-one raised nearly $70,000 while scamming about 700 donators.
- The court describes her fraud as “cunning and manipulative.”
We have already written about the UK bride who faked cancer to raise money for her dream wedding. Well, pretending to be terminally ill seems to be a trend now.
Nicole Elkabbas, 42, from Broadstairs, Kent, faked her cancer diagnosis to launch a fundraiser. As Newsner reports, she raised nearly $70,000(£50,000) and later spent them on online gambling, expensive shopping sprees, and lavish trips abroad. The fraud happened in 2017.
In the deceiving GoFundMe page Elkabbas created, she claimed she was diagnosed with “ovarian cancer.” To make things look more authentic, she made it look as if her mother was the one raising donations. According to KentOnline, the page’s description said:
“Our beautiful daughter Nicole and loving mother to her dear 11-year-old son, has recently been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It has been a tough several months to say the very least and it’s all still overwhelming. I know the true fears she is facing, all the fears that come with having cancer and being a mum and trying desperately to keep things normal.”
Elkabbas lied that she had only three weeks to collect the money needed for her surgery.
Nearly 700 people became victims of the 42-year-old’s scam. A Facebook publication by Kent Police states:
“Elkabbas had accepted more than £50,000 from nearly 700 donors via a fundraising website and direct bank transfers after claiming she had been diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer that required her to travel to Spain for surgery.”
“At no point did she provide officers with evidence of her diagnosis and NHS doctors stated during her trial that they had not received any medical evidence either.”
Donations totalling more than £50,000 were made to a #Thanet woman who lied about having cancer. Nicole Elkabbas has now been jailed for two years and nine months. https://t.co/TZ3LfAtwwV pic.twitter.com/SwJ9SjLN0S
— Kent Police (UK) (@kent_police) February 10, 2021
Additionally, Katie Taylor, one of the fraud’s victims, said:
“At one point, she explained that she needed more money for further rounds of treatment and was exceptionally grateful to us all.”
Michelle Booker, another victim, who donated around $8,300(£6,000), added:
“I contacted Nicole and got taken for the ride of my life. I try not to think of that time, when I do I feel sick to the stomach. I am angry at myself for being so naive – when I stop feeling angry I feel sad this has changed me.”
Investigators found that the scammer has been spending the donations on gambling and trips to Spain and Italy.
Reportedly, Elkabbas tried to convince authorities that the trips to Spain were for receiving special cancer treatment. As per The Sun, she claimed that this was the “only way she could be saved.”
Despite her attempts to persuade officials that she was not lying, Judge Mark Weekes described her fraud as “cunning and manipulative.”
Prosecuting Ben Irwin added:
“She didn’t use that money for cancer treatment. She didn’t need that money for cancer treatment. Ms Elkabbas instead used that money to gamble, pay old debts, and fund her expensive lifestyle.”
It was later revealed that the photograph, which shows the woman in a hospital, was from a gall bladder surgery she had months before faking cancer.
At a November hearing, the scammer was also found guilty of possession of criminal property. The accusation was related to the whopping amount of money she raised by lying to donators that she was terminally ill.
As BBC reveals, Elkabbas was jailed for two years and nine months. Her sentence was significantly reduced by Judge Weekes to minimize the time that her teenage son would spend without his mother.