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Harford Co. Authorities Investigating Cancer Scam At Bakerfield Elementary

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ABERDEEN, Md. (WJZ)—A bogus cancer diagnosis for one Harford County woman turns out to be an alleged scam. Now police are investigating.

Gigi Barnett explains most of the cash was collected at an elementary school.

Bakerfield Elementary in Aberdeen is closed for the holidays. But when school opens next week, one worker will face a fraud investigation.

The Harford County Sheriff’s Office says between January 2010 and this summer, the unidentified worker told other employees she had cancer.

Detectives say her co-workers stepped in to pay for her rent, groceries and plane tickets to treatment centers.

“They were doing things to help their co-worker who they believed was in need,” said Monica Worrell, Harford County Sheriff’s Office.

But this month, one of the co-workers became suspicious and turned to police.

In the police report, over the summer the woman told co-workers that cancer had progressed to stage four and spread to her lungs and that she had only a 15 percent chance of survival.

The co-workers sprung into action again. This time with a fundraiser collecting about $10,000.

“It was identified to the Sheriff’s Office from the victim that these type of activities were happening to help raise money for this co-worker that alleged she had cancer,” Worrell said.

“I am surprised but a lot of people do a lot of things to get money nowadays,” said Angel Balentine, a former student at the Bakerfield.

Police are still in the early stages of the investigation. As a result, no charges have been filed yet.

Police aren’t releasing the identity of the suspect because charges are pending.

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