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Shelby County woman arrested for fraudulently soliciting donations

A Shelby County woman is accused of lying about a terminal illness to raise money through GoFundMe.

SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — A Shelby County woman was arrested Thursday on two charges of first-degree theft by deception, Alabama Attorney General Steven T. Marshall announced Friday.

37-year-old Jennifer Flynn Cataldo of Sterrett was arrested and taken to the Shelby County Jail with a bond set at $50,000 per charge.

Marshall says the joint investigation with the FBI began April 13, 2017. It centered around Cataldo and her alleged use of two online GoFundMe campaigns, through which he says she received more than $38,000 from donors wishing to help with medical bills and a family trip to Disney. Both campaigns reportedly identified Cataldo as a terminal cancer patient, but Marshall says the investigation uncovered that claim was not true.

The Attorney General’s Office urges anyone with information or who may be a possible victim of Cataldo to contact the Criminal Trials Division by calling 334-353-1875.

Investigators think Cataldo acted alone in the scheme. The case is expected to be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Criminal Trials Division.

*A warrant is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.