A.G. Schneiderman Announces Full Restitution For Victims In "Dying Bride" Felony Fraud Case
Town Of Montgomery Bride Is Ordered To Pay Back Victims After Faking Terminal Illness To Scam Mid-Hudson Residents
Schneiderman: Community Members Who Felt Compelled To Help Will Be Given Back Their Hard Earned Money
ORANGE COUNTY - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that a judge has ordered Jessica Vega, 25, formerly of Montgomery, NY, to pay full restitution to her victims after fraudulently posing as a terminally ill bride to receive thousands of dollars from citizens and others from the Mid-Hudson region. Last month, Vega pleaded guilty to one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, and one count of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Third Degree.
Orange County Court Judge Robert Freehill also sentenced Vega to 300 hours of community service, time served, after spending 8 weeks in jail, in addition to five years probation. Vega is required to pay $13,368.48 in restitution to victims of her scam, who will begin receiving their refunds in the coming weeks.
"To prey on people's emotions by pretending to have a terminal illness is unconscionable," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "I am pleased that the community members, who felt so compelled to generously help a neighbor in need, will be given back their hard earned money."
In the spring of 2010, Vega claimed that she was stricken with terminal cancer and had only a few months to live. She asked for a dream wedding and received her wishes from citizens and others in the Mid-Hudson region. She was married in May 2010 and went to Aruba for her honeymoon with expenses paid for by people touched by her story.
It was subsequently discovered that Vega was neither stricken with terminal cancer nor dying, as she had led everyone to believe. The Attorney General again thanked the New York State Police for their assistance with this case.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Emmanuel Nneji under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Stephen Maher, Bureau Chief Gail Heatherly and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Nancy Hoppock.