Highland Woman Sentenced For Faking Diseases

Sarah A. Delashmit, 36, of Highland, Illinois, was sentenced this week to 18 months in federal prison and 3 years of court supervision after her release. Last October, Delashmit pleaded guilty to multiple fraud charges after spending years defrauding nonprofit organizations by falsely posing as person with muscular dystrophy and a breast cancer survivor to receive money, donated items, and other benefits. The charged offenses took place between 2015 and 2019, but evidence presented at sentencing established that Delashmit had engaged in similar scams going back as far as 2006.

During the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Staci M. Yandle described the gravity of Delashmit’s offense conduct: “Miss Delashmit deceived and manipulated individuals and families facing terminal illness and debilitating disorders, and nonprofit organizations and volunteers who serve those individuals. She preyed on these communities by posing as someone with muscular dystrophy or a mother who was diagnosed with Stage 4 terminal breast cancer. She exploited people’s trust, their kindness, their sympathy and their generosity for her own benefit. She accepted donations and allowed volunteers to care for her when she did not need or deserve that care. She took resources from those who did.”

Judge Yandle’s comments came after the court heard moving statements from two victims: one who befriended Delashmit while believing she was dying of cancer and another who cared for Delashmit while she pretended to be wheelchair bound at a camp for people with disabilities.

As part of the sentence, Judge Yandle ordered Delashmit to pay a $1,250 fine, forfeit several items she received through her scheme, and make full restitution of $7,629 to the nonprofit organizations and others she defrauded.

The investigation was conducted by the Highland Police Department, the FBI, and the United States Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Luke J. Weissler.

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