WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – A woman who cared for the sick at a Wheat Ridge hospice has been indicted for allegedly pretending to be sick herself and taking thousands of dollars from well wishers.
Donors gave Jennifer Risa Stover, 35, more than $30,000 after she allegedly told them she had cancer. She now faces charges of faking the illness and fraudulently accepting the money.
Stover worked for Exempla Healthcare at the Collier Hospice Center between January 2010 and April 2011. She resigned when her employer began to question her time off requests, which she stated were for cancer treatments.
According to court documents, Stover has never had uterine cancer. The documents say she used the claim to solicit donations from her coworkers. One coworker who donated $12,000 for her medical treatments, mortgage payments and other expenses became suspicious and asked a supervisor for advice. That’s when police began to investigate.
Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey says victims of this type of scam are always willing to help a friend who is sick.
“Cancer is a devastating disease, as we all know — both physically and financially,” Storey said. “So when the call to help comes from somebody who is in this condition, people rally around that, so they’re easy prey.”
Most recently Stover has been working at St. John’s Hospice in Lakewood part time. Officials there say they are shocked to hear about the allegations, but say they will investigate.