Till Death (or the D.A.) Do Us Part: Bride Accused of Faking Cancer To Pay For Wedding and Honeymoon

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Untrue . . . Michael O’Connell and Jessica Vega (both 23) are having a rocky start to their union. The couple had a wedding paid for by donors who wanted Jessica to have a picture perfect wedding and honeymoon in Aruba. The reason was Jessica’s terminal cancer and coverage on the heart-breaking account. Michael, however, has now come forward to say that Jessica is not dying and she lied to him as well about her terminal illness.

Michael says that a doctor confirmed that she does not have terminal leukemia. That was the premise of a Times-Herald article that led to the outpouring of donations. Michael says he saw a letter from Dr. Dan Costin and then called him only to learn that no person with his wife’s name was ever a patient of Costin’s.

Jessica still maintains that she is telling the truth — an issue that should be easy to establish in court.

There is an interesting analogy to stolen valor in these cases. I have long been a critic of the Stolen Valor Act, which was recently found unconstitutional. Those of us who oppose the law on constitutional grounds have long argued that the government can and does prosecute anyone who uses false claims to obtain money or benefits under fraud.

I cannot find any record of a criminal case, however, in this case. I assume such charges are in the works.

Source: Record.

9 thoughts on “Till Death (or the D.A.) Do Us Part: Bride Accused of Faking Cancer To Pay For Wedding and Honeymoon”

  1. My mother died slowly painfully from cancer. Since this woman took it so lightly, using cancer to scam so many I do hope she has her wish a self fullfilling prophecy I hope she gets cancer the kind that takes over her entire body like it did my mom, the kind that took a beautiful woman weighing 140 down to 40lbs because she couldnt eat due to chemo/radiation for months because of the HOPE she would beat it. This woman needs to understand how cancer feels!

  2. What are the grounds for annulment, in New York?

    * If either spouse is incurably incapable of having sexual intercourse, the marriage may be annulled.

    * Both parties must be over the age of 18 years. A marriage between persons under the age of 18 years may be annulled, at the discretion of the Court, if the spouse under 18 wants an annulment.

    * If, after marriage, either partner becomes incurably insane for five years or more, the marriage can be annulled. However, the sane spouse may be required to support the insane spouse for life.

    * The parties must knowingly consent to the marriage. It may be voided if either spouse consents to marry as a result of the force or duress of the other spouse; or either spouse cannot understand the nature, effect and consequences of marriage.

    * The marriage may be annulled where the consent was obtained by fraud, provided the fraud was such that it would have deceived an ordinarily prudent person and was material to obtaining the other party’s consent. The fraud must be such as to go to the essence of the marriage contract. Only the injured spouse can obtain the annulment on lack of consent.

    Seems like it can be annulled under all of them but the second one…..

  3. The husband must have been very disappointed to learn that his wife was not going to die soon. No quick freedom, no quick inheritance, just stuck with the same old liar for years to come.

    Is such a lie grounds to cancel a marriage?

  4. Michael,

    It would have been nice to find out she was a sociopath before you proposed, but at least you found out fairly early instead of after 10 years of marriage. In most jurisdictions fraud in inducement is a valid basis for an annulment. Now run away as fast as you can.

  5. I guess she’ll learn the wedding vows meaning someday….I just wonder whose “B” she’s gonna be? That B stands for Bride of course or is that Coarse…..

  6. mespo727272
    1, September 7, 2010 at 7:54 am
    Something Old, Something New, Someone’s Defrauded, Now She’s Blue!


    A poet at heart!! (Sigh with eyelashes fluttering)

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