Phoenix mother allegedly collected $11K through fake GoFundMe, claimed baby had brain cancer

Coria and her husband spent the money on “rent, clothes, food, a vehicle, toys, TV, and medication,” court paperwork says.
Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 5:01 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A Phoenix mother is accused of setting up a fake GoFundMe, claiming her baby girl had brain cancer to collect thousands of dollars to pay bills and buy luxury items. Police say 28-year-old Monique Alexis Coria was taken into custody on Oct. 17.

On Oct. 5, Phoenix Children’s Hospital staff called police to report Coria and her husband. The two were bringing their 1-year-old girl in for “unnecessary medical procedures” and claiming she had brain cancer, court paperwork says. Investigators say staff told officers that the parents had started a GoFundMe, claiming their baby had brain cancer and that they “needed money to pay for the medical bills.”

Coria posted videos on TikTok about the girl and her alleged medical condition. However, staff confirmed to police the girl “has never been diagnosed with brain cancer and does not have brain cancer,” court documents say. Phoenix Children’s staff alleged the parents raised over $13,000 on the GoFundMe before it was shut down. Staff also told police the parents were accepting donations on other money-sharing apps, like Zelle, CashApp, Venmo and LinkTree.

On Oct. 13, police and Department of Child Safety officials arrived at Coria’s apartment near Thunderbird and Cave Creek Roads to speak to her. Coria told police that her baby had seizures and takes medication for them but denied that her daughter had brain cancer. She then reportedly told police a friend had started the GoFundMe. Court paperwork says Coria admitted a doctor has never diagnosed her child but admitted to making TikTok videos saying her baby had cancer because “she was in a bad place.” She then told police her husband created the GoFundMe, because they needed money for rent and gas.

Police say Coria told detectives that the couple received $11,000 from donations and had spent $4,000 on rent and gas. She admitted that she and her husband were “fully aware” that the baby didn’t have brain cancer and “it was a fraudulent way to ask for money,” investigators said. The two reportedly pulled the cash out of the bank and closed the GoFundMe because “they didn’t need the money anymore.”

Four days later, Coria and her husband were arrested at their apartment. During an interview with police, the husband reportedly said Coria told him the baby girl had a medical condition and was having seizures. He alleged Coria made the GoFundMe under his name, but she created the account. He admitted he hadn’t seen medical paperwork saying the baby was diagnosed with brain cancer but “believed Coria.” The two spent the money on “rent, clothes, food, a vehicle, toys, TV, and medication,” court paperwork says.

When police interviewed Coria, she admitted her husband didn’t know the baby girl wasn’t sick. She then told police she made the GoFundMe in January 2022 and received $11,000 and “an unknown amount” from other money-sharing apps. She alleged that all the money was spent on over-the-counter medications, rent, and electric bills, but they used a tax refund to buy a vehicle. However, investigators say Coria spent some of the money on luxury items, like a Gucci wallet and a Dyson Airwrap because “they had their other expenses covered with the donation money.”

Coria was booked on one count of fraudulent schemes.