Charges: Faribault Man Falsely Claims Cancer, Bilks Nearly $23,000

Charges: Faribault Man Falsely Claims Cancer, Bilks Nearly $23,000 Photo: Wikimedia Commons

October 10, 2017 04:20 PM

A Faribault man who falsely claimed to have cancer and received over $17,000 in donations is now facing a felony charge, according to court documents.

A criminal complaint says 47-year-old Jeremiah Jon Smith faces one count of theft by swindle.


The complaint says Smith claimed to have stage four terminal cancer in May 2016 and said he only had 18 to 24 months to live. A month later, he shortened his life expectancy, saying he only had six month to live.

Smith said he went to multiple doctor appointments but refused to allow his wife to accompany him. During that time, he quit his job and told multiple stories about how he received his diagnosis.

Smith also claimed he was being treated at Olmested Medical Center, and he was on a trial medication; however, the hospital said it does not participate in trial medications.

A GoFundMe fundraiser was created to help Smith, which raised more than $6,800. In February 2016, there were two different fundraising events held for Smith, which raised more than $9,000.

According to the complaint, $4,000 of the money raised was spent on outstanding bills. The rest of the money was spent on "Clash of Clans" video game, drinking, dart tournaments and marijuana.

While Smith claimed to have cancer, his wife attempted to obtain medical records from a clinic he claimed to visit, however, she was denied. She also looked around her home for evidence but was unable to find any.

When questioned by authorities about his diagnosis, Smith said he would provide investigators with his medical records. He never did, according ot the complaint.

In November 2016, investigators obtained a search warrant to search Smith's medical records at Olmsted Medical Hospital. Smith's records did not contain any information about having cancer.

Investigators also spoke with the doctor Smith claimed he visited, who said he saw Smith, but diagnosed him with other non-cancerous conditions.

According to the complaint, Smith's wife believes they received $17,000 from benefits and more than $6,000 online.


Ben Rodgers

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