Lincoln Co. woman accused of fraud after lying about having canc - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Lincoln Co. woman accused of fraud after lying about having cancer

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LINCOLN CO. (WKOW) -- A Merrill teen accused of lying about having cancer has pleaded not guilty to charges against her.

According to a criminal complaint, 19-year-old Celina Winchell posted on Facebook and told friends she had cancer. 

A collection jar to raise money for her medical expenses was put out at a Wausau restaurant, but the manager contacted investigators after growing suspicious that Winchell may not have been sick.Winchell's friend told investigators that she was spending the money on cigarettes and not treatment.

"And we believe she did not have cancer based on the information we have now so that would make it, not a normal theft of just I took money from you but it's theft by misrepresentation or fraud," said Assistant District Attorney Lisa Gramer.

Prosecutors believe Winchell used about $25 of the money collected.

Winchell has been charged with theft by fraud and obstructing an officer. If convicted she could face two years in prison. 

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