Caroline Zarate Boyle, another Colorado cancer faker, is caught and up for sentencing.
United States Postal Service employee and Colorado resident Caroline Zarate Boyle, 60, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Raymond P. Moore to pretending to have cancer in order to be able to work from home and claim hundreds of sick leave hours. The faker pleaded guilty to a charge of forging writing to the United States with the intent to defraud. Boyle was indicted by a federal grand jury for the crime on March 16th and is scheduled for sentencing on July 25th.
Boyle allegedly became disgruntled against her employer after she was passed up for a promotion, and decided the best way to get back at the postal service was to work as little as possible. She told her supervisor that she had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. She then began to use the fake diagnosis to ask for substantial time off. Her scheme worked for twenty months, during which time Boyle forged four doctors’ notes detailing treatment for cancer. Investigators at the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General would later determine that the two doctors who Boyle was claiming to see knew nothing of the patient and her health history. Boyle was scheduled to retire from the postal service in April 2017 and she planned to limit her work schedule until this time. According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Boyle was planning to take a retirement cruise in Hawaii. But, she will not be vacationing any time soon. The former postal worker could be sentenced to up to ten years in federal prison and be fined up to $250,000.
Perhaps the strangest part of the story is that Boyle is the seventh Colorado woman cancer faker in recent years publicly accused of pretending to have the disease or using their children to solicit donations. These women were able to illegally garner funds for their cancer faker deeds and many ultimately ended up behind bars. One walked only because she didn’t profit. One such scammer is Tausha Marsh, who has been accused of faking a cancer diagnosis to collect $15,000 in donations. Marsh was sentenced to just over a month in jail and ordered to both repay her generous donors and pass along handwritten apology letters to each of them. Another woman now being investigated for the same ruse, Ann Crall, allegedly collected donations from Lakewood police officers, colleagues of the woman’s husband, Rich Crall, for her supposed illness. Lakewood Police Department spokesman Steve Davis had confirmed that Rich has been on administrative leave “as a precaution — a procedure we wanted to follow until this whole investigation from the grand jury’s perspective ended. Which it has, and they chose not to indict him or charge him.” 35-year-old Jennifer Stover first started her faker scheme by drawing attention to a supposed cyst she had which required “experimental treatment”. She kept this going for several years, using it as an excuse whenever she felt like ducking out of work early. In 2010, Stover announced to her colleagues, friends and family she had uterine cancer. A co-worker offered to help her with the cost of treatment, and many others donated to the fraudulent cause. In the end, Stover was accused of garnering $30,000 from sixteen people, prompting charges of theft exceeding $20,000 and charitable fraud. She was sentenced to ninety days in jail.
Faking cancer appears to be a new fad, just the same as owning a smart car or Fitbit. With social media all the rage these days, it’s especially easy for scammers to sit behind computers and collect funds. Luckily law enforcement is hot on the tails of these criminals.