(USA TODAY) A New Jersey judge has ordered a woman to perform 500 hours of community service for scamming relatives, neighbors and strangers into thinking she was dying of cancer.
Lori Stilley, 41, pleaded guilty to theft by deception for receiving nearly $12,000 in donations from more than 300 people in 20 states, who sent meals to her home and even paid for her wedding.
Prosecutors say Stilley told relatives and posted on Facebook in 2011 that she had been diagnosed with bladder cancer. Relatives became suspicious when Stilley announced a "miraculous" cure just as she was about to enter hospice.
ThePhiladelphia Inquirerreports Stilley's younger sister and ex-husband asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence because of the emotional damage she caused her 13-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son.
Stilley once asked the girl, "How could you be so mean when you know Mommy's dying?" after a mother-daughter spat, theInquirerreported.
"I have never heard of such an outrageous thing," Superior Court Judge James W. Palmer Jr.told Stilley. "I'm almost speechless. It's despicable what you've done."
Contributing: Associated Press