WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (CBS4)– The parents of a woman who cared for the sick at a Wheat Ridge hospice and has been indicted for allegedly pretending to be sick herself and taking thousands of dollars claim they didn’t know anything about her behavior.
“She lives here, she’s always kept everything to herself, doesn’t tell us a damn thing,” said Stover’s mother.
“We have nothing else to say,” said Stover’s father.
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.
“It’s certainly ironic and it’s tragic in my mind,” said Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey. “It’s hard to believe that anybody would feign such an insidious disease for economic gain.”
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.
“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.”
Stover turned herself in Tuesday and later bonded out. She continued to collect money until April 2011.
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.