Huntsville woman accused of lying about having cancer to collect money
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - No scheme is a good scheme, but this one is on a whole different level. And now, a Huntsville woman is sitting in the Madison County Jail because of it.
Looking at her mugshot, you may not think she’s the picture of health, but she’s accused of scamming people out of thousands of dollars, claiming she was dying from breast cancer.
40-year old Dawn Lineberger is facing a theft by deception charge tonight.
WAFF talked with Huntsville photographer, Heather Edstrom. Edstrom heard Lineberger was a single mother dying of cancer, and wanted to gift her family something special for Christmas.
Edstrom told WAFF she donated her time, her talents and even her children’s Christmas gifts to Lineberger, who she now says is a fake and a fraud.
In fact, she unknowingly helped Lineberger build a huge social media presence to help Lineberger offset her medical and living expenses. Lineberger was even living in a home rent free because of local, generous givers who were just trying to help out a family.
“They had this church property, they weren’t going to sell it yet, and she had so many months to live, they gifted her this home, paid the utilities, had a free place to live,” explained Edstrom.
Edstrom says she wanted to do whatever she could to make her last months as comfortable as possible, and she rallied the community around her.
“I kind of go back and forth from kind of being upset and hurt,” Edstrom said, fighting back tears. “But more I feel bad for all the people that donated their own personal money, I know single moms who didn’t even have the money to do it because they felt led to give.”
Edstrom says Lineberger was able to collect more than $8,000 through a GoFundMe account and more through apps like to venmo, cash app and paypal.
Edstrom said she feels hurt and betrayed by Lineberger after finding out everything she claimed was a lie.
The story doesn’t end here, though.
WAFF put calls into Huntsville Police, the church and church members Lineberger reportedly scammed, for comments.
If you donated, or have any other information on Lineberger, you are asked to contact the Huntsville Police Department at 256-427-7114 or 256-722-7100.
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