Remember Jessica Vega, the upstate woman who admitted to faking having terminal leukemia so she could get a free wedding, honeymoon and even cash? Well, today was her sentencing day and a judge decided that time served, plus five years probation, would be enough.
After the public rallied to help Vega throw a dream wedding with Michael O'Connell on May 2nd, 2010, O'Connell later became suspicious because she didn't seem to get sick. When he called her doctor's office, they said she was never a patient there! Vega and O'Connell had a child but then eventually divorced (they accused each other of abuse) but then they got back to together and had a second child. In spite of her lying, he also supported a lenient sentence for her, "She's a good mom, and that's all that counts at the end of the day. I want my kids to have their mother back."
In court today, Vega said, "I just want to take the time to apologize to anyone in this courtroom who was offended by the crimes I committed." The 25-year-old has already spent eight weeks in jail and was sentenced to five years probation and 300 hours of community service. Plus, she'll have to repay all the people who gave her money or goods—over $13,000. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said, "To prey on people's emotions by pretending to have a terminal illness is unconscionable. I am pleased that the community members, who felt so compelled to generously help a neighbor in need, will be given back their hard earned money."
The judge said to Vega, "I'm very skeptical of the fact that you, Jessica, were the sole perpetrator," implying it might have been a wider scheme, but O'Connell said he claimed he didn't know anything about the fraud. Vega will be living with O'Connell now.