Michigan woman draws year in jail in cancer scam
By The Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, 8:39 p.m.
SANDUSKY, Mich. — A judge sentenced a woman to a year behind bars on Wednesday in an “almost mind-boggling” scam that tricked an insurance company and swindled big-hearted people in small communities who believed she was dying of cancer.
Authorities said it was all an extraordinary lie: No doctor has ever stepped forward to even suggest that Sara Ylen had cancer.
Ylen, 38, is serving a minimum five-year prison sentence in another case of deceit, and the one-year punishment for fraud will run at the same time.
Ylen claimed she developed cervical cancer from a sexual assault in 2001 and was regularly treated in Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Zion, Ill. The Michigan-based Mercy Hospice cut her off in 2011 after two years when tests showed her life was not in peril.
The cancer hospital said it had no record of her as a patient.
The Lexington resident accepted thousands of dollars from supporters who for years regularly read of her plight in the Port Huron Times Herald.
She repeatedly forged medical records, including documents that bore the letterhead of cancer specialists at the University of Michigan.
In January, Ylen pleaded no contest to fraud through false pretenses and false statements. A no-contest plea in Michigan is treated like a regular conviction for the purpose of a sentence.
“All of these fraudulent acts that you perpetrated on so many people, and the extent that you went to perpetrate them, is almost mind-boggling,” Sanilac County Circuit Judge Donald Teeple said. “You took advantage of the good will and generosity of people who were more than willing to assist you, all based on lies.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Obama administration delays decision on Keystone XL pipeline
- Medicaid paid $12M for Illinois dead, audit finds
- Grandmother left vengeful note in boys’ slayings, then committed suicide, police say
- Recovery expert believes wreckage of missing plane located
- Colorado deaths stoke marijuana worries
- Records exonerate ‘X-Men’ director, attorney says
- Judge strikes down Minnesota’s anti-coal law as unconstitutional
- Wyatt Earp gun sells for $225K at auction
- SpaceX supply ship makes Easter cargo delivery to space station
- Iranian envoy officially blocked by law
- Android systems running 4.1.1 softward carry Heartbleed bug