U.S. bride who faked cancer sentenced to time served
Jessica Vega, fake cancer, bride
Published Wednesday, May 23, 2012 5:41PM EDT
GOSHEN, N.Y. - A U.S. woman who faked having cancer so donors would pay for her wedding and Caribbean honeymoon was sentenced Wednesday to the nearly two months she has already served in jail.
Jessica Vega, who apologized for the scam, was expected to be released later in the day from the New York jail where she has been held since April 25. A prosecutor said she has paid back more than $13,368 to victims in the scam.
Vega claimed in 2010 that she was dying of leukemia and wanted a "dream wedding" to Michael O'Connell, the father of her baby. Donors gave rings, a wedding dress and other goods and services. O'Connell later questioned the story, and they divorced.
Vega was arrested April 3 in Virginia, where she was back with O'Connell. She pleaded guilty to charges of scheming to defraud and possession of a forged instrument.
When asked before sentencing how his 25-year-old client was doing, lawyer Jeremiah Flaherty replied: "Not good."
"She's never been in jail in her life. ... It's had a toll on her," Flaherty said.
Flaherty told the judge that Vega misses her two young children.
O'Connell said Vega will live with his family.
Outside the courthouse, O'Connell said he was relieved the ordeal was over. He said there was a chance the two could rekindle their relationship, "as long as she doesn't mess up again."