Police: Delran Woman Swindles Friends with Cancer Scheme

Friends and family fundraised thousands for Lori Stilley, brought her meals and even paid for a wedding under the notion she was dying of bladder cancer.

Lori Stilley's "miracle" recovery from bladder cancer was bogus—just like the cancer itself, police say.

Claiming she was dying from bladder cancer, the 40-year-old Delran woman received meals, money, gifts, even a wedding from family and friends who organized charitable efforts on her behalf.

Turns out, Stilley didn't have cancer at all—and now, she could face serious jail time.

Stilley, of Suburban Boulevard in Delran, was charged with third-degree theft by deception, according to Burlington County Prosecutor Robert D. Bernardi and Delran Police Chief Alfonso A. Parente, Jr. She surrendered today with counsel at the Delran Police Department and was released after posting $25,000 bail.

After a long investigation, authorities found out Stilley told close friends and family she had been diagnosed with stage III bladder cancer and would undergo radiation and chemotherapy. Stilley posted this information on Facebook and a personal website she created. In April of last year, Stilley updated her cancer status to stage IV.

She told relatives and friends she did not have health insurance, well-wishers leapt to the rescue, authorities say. Several started fundraising for her treatment and medical bills. 

A sale and fundraising banquet organized in July 2011 raised more than $8,400. Another fundraiser and cash raffle netted an additional $1,000.

Stilley allegedly kept up the charade, even authoring an e-book that discussed her daily struggle to cope with cancer. In October, she posted it for sale on her personal website for $14.99 and generated more than $3,000 in proceeds.

Stilley then said she wanted to marry her boyfriend before she died. Friends and family planned a wedding and the marriage took place nine days later. The cost of the wedding hall was negotiated down to $500 and friends and family covered the cost themselves.

A friend of Stilley also made a meal calendar that was posted on Stilley's website. People signed up to make and drop off dinners to the woman. Stilley also received donations of gift cards totaling more than $1,600.

Family and friends finally questioned Stilley in November of last year when Stilley said plans for hospice care were cancelled because she was feeling better and she "believed a miracle was coming."

Law enforcement officials discovered Stilley had never been treated for or even diagnosed with cancer.

“Cancer causes so much pain and hardship for those who are suffering through it, as well as for family members and friends,” Bernardi said. “For this defendant to represent that she was dying from this terrible disease for the sake of personal gain and sympathy goes way beyond simply being a criminal offense; it was extremely cruel to those who were concerned and worked hard to lend assistance.”

The case will be presented to a Burlington County Grand Jury for indictment. The investigation was conducted by detectives from the Delran Township Police Department and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office Financial Crimes Unit.

Mike October 02, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Ummm Michael, are you sure your last name isnt Stilley ? Strange as it may seem to you Mike there's actually a law on the books that that savvy woman broke. N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4
Jasmine Leffler October 03, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Guys I'm sure this woman will get karma ....God is not sleeping, what goes around come around!!!!
Richard Harris October 10, 2012 at 12:24 PM
I think it was brilliant she just needs to be more realistic with the cure. didn't your parents teach you anything don't believe anything people tell you everybody lies.
Cool Runner December 10, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Mike's an Arse
diane January 09, 2013 at 03:58 PM
I was a huge supporter of Team Lori Rocks. I am still disgusted, outraged and hurt by this. If you see this, Lori, or any member of your family, I need to ask. Was it worth it? The pain, anger, humiliation, deception and the cost all worth it? What is the cost of a true friend, Lori? Did you EVER give a damn about any of them? People like you are sick and deranged. I feel for your children the most. They are the ones suffering from all of this you heartless bitch. One day, you will understand what you put those closet to you through. You are less than nothing for what you did and it's not even the money that you took. It's the emotional toll you put on so many people who cared and prayed and worried.


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