Mom admits to faking child’s illness to collect donations from GoFundMe campaign

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MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) – A Marietta woman will serve a year in jail after admitting to faking her daughter’s illness to steal money through a GoFundMe site.

News outlets report 36-year-old Joannessa Ann Clawson pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree forgery, identity fraud, false swearing and conspiracy to commit theft by deception.

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Prosecutors say staff at the child’s schools became concerned in March 2015 when the girl missed several days.

The family said the child was hospitalized with a life-threatening heart condition, but officials suspected fraud after discovering a GoFundMe page designed to raise money for the child.

When authorities visited the Clawson home, the girl ran to the door, appearing to be in “perfect” health.



Prosecutors say Clawson even forged a note by a real physician, claiming to be treating the child.

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