Suffolk County prosecutors said an indictment was unsealed Wednesday, charging 21-year-old Brittany Ozarowski, formerly of Selden, with fraud.
Ozarowski hit up local businesses, approached neighbors, and even started a website and a Facebook page in order to collect donations to treat what she said was an aggressive cancer that had spread to her spine and brain.
Ozarowski then made a plea to strangers to help her pay for treatments prosecutors say she never received.
“There was no cancer, no chemotherapy, no radiation, and no medical bills,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota. “There was just heroin.”
Denise Bambola, Ozarowski’s former next-door neighbor in Selden, was one of the many people who fell for the cancer story and ended up donating $10,000 to help with medical bills.
Ozarowski has been indicted on charges of faking cancer so she could get donations to support her heroin addiction.
Authorities say Ozarowski left donor jars at Nassau and Suffolk county businesses and hit up supermarket shoppers for money.
A store owner bought T-shirts for a fundraiser. Spota says small-business owners donated more than $600 in gift certificates.
Ozarowski now faces 24 charges, including forgery and petit larceny. She is currently being held on $5,000 cash bail.