Illinois woman sentenced to prison in cancer fraud case

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Melissa Barton

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) _ A western Illinois woman accused of falsely claiming she and her son had cancer has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Twenty-eight-year-old Melissa D. Barton was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty in October to two counts of felony theft by deception. She was charged and indicted in 2014 for soliciting funds from numerous donors for fraudulent cancer claims.

Barton has also been ordered to pay nearly $1,300 in restitution.

Authorities say the case came to light after a man created a fundraising page for Barton and her son, whom she claimed had an acute form of leukemia. They say Barton asked and received money from religious organizations, individuals and online donation sites.

Barton said during testimony that she’s been treated for manic depression, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.