Ardsley woman sentenced after pretending to have terminal cancerPosted: Updated:
An Ardsley woman was sentenced Friday after pretending to have terminal cancer as part of a scam.
Vedoutie Hoobraj pleaded guilty to wire fraud and was sentenced to two years in prison and three years of probation at White Plains Federal Court.
Hoobraj is accused of telling the world she was dying of leukemia and only had 18 months to live in October 2014.
The community raised thousands of dollars for her through fundraisers. She also set up a GoFundMe page using the name Shivonie Deokaran to raise money for her health care that she claimed to have needed.
Hoobraj went to great lengths to keep the scheme going – shaving her head, falsifying medical records and lying to police. Once people started questioning her story, she abruptly moved to Florida.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, she received more than $50,000 in donations carrying out the scam from October of 2014 through at least March of 2016.
The judge called Hoobraj “a criminal,” emphasizing that the scheme she concocted lasted over a year and deceived her friends, neighbors, police and even children for personal greed. He insisted that she will pay back all of the donations she obtained.
In court, Hoobraj, cried throughout the sentencing, apologized to the community and her children, and begged the judge for mercy.
Hoobraj has been ordered to turn herself into to federal prison in Florida next month.
Hoobraj's attorney asked the judge for a lenient sentence with community service so she could spend time working with cancer patients and survivors. The judge called that the craziest idea he had ever heard.