Woman Faked Cancer: Why Did Brittany Ozarowski Scam Her Grandmother Out Of $100,000?

By Philip Ross on April 11, 2013 12:43 PM EDT

fake cancer
Twenty-one-year-old Brittany Ozarowski faked cancer to fund her heroin addiction. She even created a website where visitors could donate to her “treatment.” (Photo: Screenshot/brittanyozarowski.c)

A woman fakes cancer and receives hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations for her "treatments," including $100,000 from her grandmother who sold her home to help save her granddaughter's life.

Why did 21-year-old Brittany Ozarowski of Long Island, N.Y., fake cancer? According to AP, she was funding her heroin addiction.

Fake Cancer Donation Site

"Let me begin by introducing myself, my name is Brittany and I am 20 years old," Ozarowski wrote on her website under the heading "My Story."

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The now-21-year-old went on to describe how she was involved in a car wreck in March of 2011 that left her with multiple injuries, including a fractured pelvis and a collapsed lung. She also claimed to have been diagnosed with both ovarian cancer and stomach cancer and that, after a successful first bout of chemotherapy and radiation left her cancer free as of Dec. 2011, the cancer had returned, this time in her bones.

The website, www.brittanyozarowski.com, is set up so that visitors can make donations that would help pay for Ozarowski's "treatments."

"This time the medicine was much more expensive and my family had already liquidated all assets since September," she wrote. "I have set up donation jars around my town in hopes of getting help from the community." Ozarawksi claimed the treatments cost her $33,000 a day.

There was even a fundraiser event last October held at a restaurant called The Port Jeff Moose Lodge, according to a flyer on Ozarowski's website. The flier asked each person to donate $50, with all proceeds going to Ozarowski.

"No donation is too big nor too small, anything at all would help greatly," she wrote on her website's donations page.

Brittany Ozarowski: A Skilled Swindler

Prosecutors say Ozarowski swindled family members and even complete strangers, leaving donor jars at a number of businesses across Nassau and Suffolk counties. She also asked supermarket customers for money. According to District Attorney Thomas Spota, Ozarowski scammed her father and grandmother, who gave her granddaughter $100,000 after selling her house.

Ozarowski's fake cancer scheme came to light when one man she asked for money questioned her about her doctor's name. According to Los Angeles Daily News, the man became suspicious when Ozarowski refused to give him an answer. The man proceeded to alert the district attorney's office.

"This defendant perpetrated a despicable scam. ... There was no cancer, no chemotherapy or radiation. All there was heroin and more heroin," Spota told AP. The DA said Ozarowski raised over $10,000 in 13 months, in addition to her grandmother's generous donation, to fund her heroin habit.

Sayville-Bayport Patch reports that Ozarowski faces 24 counts of criminal charges, including grand larceny and scheme to defraud, among others. She is in jail, pending $5,000 cash bail.

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