NSW Mother Accused Of Faking Cancer For Money
A NSW mother of four who spoke about her fear as she battled three types of terminal cancer has been accused of faking the disease to raise thousands of dollars.
Former cricketer and ex-Cricket NSW employee Melissa Quinn, 35, has been charged with fraud after allegedly telling people she had a rare form of cancer and needed to travel overseas for specialist treatment in 2014.
The following year, the Casino woman again claimed she had ovarian cancer and chronic myeloid leukaemia, NSW Police said in a statement on Thursday.
Police allege several fundraising events were held by the community and her employer where $45,000 was raised which she used to travel overseas.
Quinn, who played cricket for NSW under-19s, was charged with making and using false documents to obtain financial advantage and four counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception.
She has been granted conditional bail is due to face Casino Local Court on April 18.
Casino RSM Club, where Quinn was a part-time employee, held a fundraising event for her in 2014 and raised about $20,000, a club spokesman told AAP in a statement on Thursday.
"At no stage was the Casino RSM Club aware that Ms Quinn's illness was anything but genuine," the spokesman said.
He said the club and wider community were "deeply shocked and saddened" about Quinn's arrest.
Several staff members helped Quinn by minding her children and driving to "alleged" medical appointments and chemotherapy treatments, he said.
NSW Premier Cricket manager Roy Formica told AAP he was a friend of Quinn's but didn't want to provide further comment.
"I was one of the people that helped in fundraising and later became a friend," he said on Thursday.
In 2014, Quinn told a local newspaper she had inoperable brain cancer and chances were she had only two years to live.
"I had cancer two-and-a-half years ago in the uterus, so it wasn't a huge surprise that it's come back," she told The Northern Star.
"But I am still overwhelmed and scared."
She said the Australian Medical Board covered 90 per cent of her costs to travel to California to receive proton radiation therapy but she needed to raise about $20,000 for "eight weeks of airfares, clinical fees and everyday expenses".
Cricket NSW donated three signed and framed Australian shirts and the NSW State of Origin and NSW Swifts donated a jersey each for the fundraising auction, according to local media reports.
Former Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke was reportedly one of those who donated signed and framed playing shirts for the auction.
Cricket NSW described Quinn to The Northern Star as someone with "determination coupled with her passion for her work on the North Coast which has endeared her to all of the staff and players".
A Cricket NSW spokesman told AAP they were unable to comment because the matter was before the court.