Photo Credit: Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office
HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas (FOX 7 KTBC) - According to a a media release by Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office, Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Investigators have arrested a woman who allegedly used her daughter to defraud people out of their money.
The following was taken from their facebook page.
The investigation started on October 22, 2015, when Child Protective Services reported to Sheriff’s Deputies that 46 year old Juanita Garcia was fraudulently organizing fundraisers for her seven year old child.
Sheriff’s Investigators working on the case discovered that Garcia was reporting to people in person and via social media, that her daughter had terminal cancer, and had months to live. Witnesses reported that Garcia would approach them asking for monetary donations to pay for her daughter’s cancer treatments.
Through the course of the investigation, Investigators discovered that seven year old child had been medically evaluated, and no illness had been found. During questioning, Garcia admitted to Investigators that her daughter had never been diagnosed with cancer, and that she had obtained monetary donations from various persons.
Yesterday, Sheriff’s Investigators arrested Garcia for Exploitation of a Child, a third degree felony. Today, Garcia was taken before Hidalgo County Justice of the Peace Bobby Contreras where she was formally arraigned and given a $10,000.00 cash surety bond, and committed to the Hidalgo County Adult Detention Center.
The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office is urging the community to verify and confirm information from fundraisers that they choose to participate in. In many cases, asking questions and utilizing good common sense approaches can prevent someone from being the target of a fraudulent scheme. Legitimate organizations, groups, or persons who are fundraising will have ways to verify and confirm information about their events.