CENTRAL ISLIP - A young Selden woman has pleaded not guilty in court after being accused of conning people out of cash and spending the money on drugs.
Brittany Ozarowksi, 21, was arraigned this morning on 24 counts, including grand larceny, forgery, fraud and petty larceny. Bail was set at $75,000.
Prosecutors say the elaborate hoax started two years ago after Ozarowski was in a car wreck. According to police, that's when Ozarowski began telling everyone she had a cancerous tumor.
According to officials, Ozarowkski conned her own grandmother out of about $100,000. Her father claims he, too, was a victim.
“There was no chemotherapy, there was no cancer, no radiation," Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota said. "The only thing there was is heroin and more heroin."
Neighbor Denise Balboa tells News 12 Long Island she was like a mother to the girl, whose own mother left years ago. Balboa says the Selden girl showed up crying on her doorstep about two years ago, claiming she had been diagnosed with bone cancer and didn't have the money for treatment. From then on, Balboa says she gave Ozarowski every dollar she could.
Prosecutors say Ozarowski also scammed at least 25 business owners out of tens of thousands of dollars.
According to Spota, Ozarowski even set up her own charity website. However, it was business owner, Liz Patricola, a breast cancer survivor, who started to get suspicious and eventually called police.
Officials say Ozarowski has four pending cases in court, all of which are drug-related.
She is due back in court next month.
For extended footage from the courtroom, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.