Woman fakes cancer: A young Long Island woman faked having cancer and used donations given to her to buy heroin to feed her addiction.
Brittany Ozarowski, of Central Islip, got donations from supermarket shoppers to purchase heroin, prosecutors said on Wednesday.
Ozarowski, 21, claimed to have bone, ovarian, brain, and stomach cancer, reported CBS Local. She is alleged to have accrued tens of thousands of dollars in donations from people for more than a year.
“There was no cancer, no chemotherapy, no radiation and no medical bills,” District Attorney Thomas Spota said. “There was just heroin.”
On a website she created, Ozarowski posted photos of herself sitting in a wheelchair and said she had “few options left.”
“This time the medicine was much more expensive and my family had already liquidated all assets since September. I have tried to receive financial help from many different charities, catholic charities, cancer organizations, and organizations of all types for that matter,” she wrote.
It added: “It is very hard to receive financial help. The treatments are about $33,000 each day and although my doctor has been incredible with helping my family financially I am still short.”
Authorities told CBS that she also had a Facebook page that also posted her story, but this time, it was about a car crash that left her injured severely. Police said this was also false.
“The truth is she is a 21-year-old drug addict with four open narcotics cases and we have strong evidence she forged doctors’ notes to avoid court appearances,” Spota told the station.
Ozarowski’s attorney George Duncan said Wednesday he hadn’t yet seen the charges and could not comment.
Spota said small-business owners donated more than $600 in gift certificates and Ozarowski established a PayPal account and a website with a banner that pleaded, “Help Save My Life.”
“She told business owners that she was suffering from bone and brain cancer, that the disease was spreading to her thyroid and her stomach,” Spota said at a news conference. “She told some people that she just found out the brain cancer was inoperable.”
Spota said Ozarowski was eventually caught when a man she had asked for money became suspicious and asked for her doctor’s name, which she refused to provide. The man called the district attorney’s office.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.