A woman in Texas successfully scammed a bunch of people into paying for her breast implants by, get this, faking breast cancer! Twenty-four-year-old Trista Joy Lathern told everyone she didn’t have health insurance and needed money to pay for her breast cancer treatments. In August, 100 people showed up to her all-day fundraiser at Waco’s Hog Creek Icehouse Saloon and donated an estimated $10,000. Trista used $6,800 of the donations to pay for a new set of boobs. According to the local sheriff’s office, it was later discovered that Lathern never even had breast cancer.Lathern convinced everyone she had cancer — even her husband — and shaved her head to make it appear she was undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Investigators say her lie began to unravel when she showed up at a local plastic surgeon’s office, asking for breast implants. The surgeon knew of her benefit and was immediately suspicious when she never mentioned her cancer to him. He passed the info to his attorney who called the local sheriff. When her husband discovered the truth, he filed for an annulment of their seven-month-old marriage and asked for custody of their two young sons.
Among the people scammed by Lathern was Diana Teichelman, who runs a cleaning service. She was moved to donate because her grandmother and sister both had breast cancer. When she found out she’d been duped, she told “The Today Show”‘s Meredith Vieira: “I felt like somebody socked me in the gut, because my sister had breast cancer. I couldn’t believe that anyone could do such a thing. My sister was lucky enough to have insurance. There’s so many people that don’t, and need help.” She says she worries that people who are really in need will be hurt by Lathern’s scam. “The ripple effect of this is going to be terrible. It’s already showing,” Teichelman told Vieira. “I’ve heard that people already don’t want to donate to the benefits because they’re not certain that they’re real.”
What do you think would be fair punishment for Lathern’s crime? [via MSNBC]