Faribault man accused of faking cancer, collecting donations

Published 9:26 pm Tuesday, October 10, 2017

FARIBAULT — Prosecutors said a Faribault man lied about having terminal cancer, collected thousands of dollars in donations and spent the money on video games and marijuana.

Thirty-seven-year-old Jeremiah Jon Smith is charged in Rice County with theft by swindle. Investigators said fundraisers and a GoFundMe web page for Smith generated $23,000 to help cover his medical expenses.

Court records show Smith’s wife became suspicious when she couldn’t find medical records to back up her husband’s claims. County Attorney John Fossum said when Smith was questioned by police, he told them he would produce the records, but never did. That’s when investigators got a search warrant and found out Smith did not have cancer.

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The Rice County court administrator said Smith does not yet have an attorney who could speak on his behalf.