Phoenix mother accused of faking child’s cancer uncovered as serial scammer
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A Phoenix mother has been accused of fraud after pretending her baby had brain cancer to rip off donors on GoFundMe.
Police said Monique Coria made out with thousands of dollars and spent donated cash on luxury items like a Gucci wallet and a $600 dollar blow dryer. Arizona’s Family has learned of two more fraudulent schemes allegedly carried out by Coria. Karissa Sanchez became friends with Coria in July of 2021. She said Coria told her that she worked for Live Nation ticket company and had the connection for cheap tickets. “She could get a discounted price,” Sanchez said. “She could get $800 dollar tickets for $300.”
Arizona’s Family reached out to Live Nation for comment about Coria but did not hear back from the company. Sanchez said in the weeks leading up to the shows, Coria had nothing but excuses as to why the tickets weren’t arriving. Eventually, Sanchez said she realized she’d been scammed by someone she’d welcomed into her life. “From me alone, [Coria took] probably $450-$500,” Sanchez said. “With other people--all my coworkers, family friends? Probably a good $6000 dollars.”
The Tolleson Police Department filed fraud charges against Coria last October, but the county attorney sent the case back to the police in April of 2022, citing a need for more evidence. So far, Tolleson PD has not re-submitted the case to prosecutors, but that could change. “It just made my stomach turn, it made me sick that someone could do that and act like my friend like that,” said Sanchez.
“I came across her from a friend, a friend that knew her,” Autumn Franco said. Franco met Coria through a mutual friend in Whittier, California. Franco said she had posed as a French Bulldog breeder and offered her two pups for the price of one for $1500. “I was super excited. I always wanted one, and I was like ‘Wow, this is such a great price!’” Franco said. “And then she kind of made it seem like we were friends, you know? Like, we got along well, and she was so convincing.”
In the end, Franco said, she did not receive the puppies, and Coria made off with her and her friends’ money. The Whittier resident said she reported Coria to police in 2019 but nothing ever came from her accusations. “I was really upset and angry,” she said. “You know what? The money is gone but whatever happens to her happens to her.”
A spokesperson for GoFundme told Arizona’s Family that all donations made to Coria’s GoFundMe for her child that didn’t have cancer has been refunded. That spokesperson also said Coria has been banned from the platform.
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