Last week, a mother in Ohio was sent to prison for making up her daughter’s illness so that she could get almost $5,000 in donations.
On Nov. 17, FOX8 said that 35-year-old Lindsey Abbuhl of Canton was sentenced to four to six years in prison and told to pay back more than $8,500. She has already admitted to putting a child in danger and stealing.
The charges came from “Rylee’s Warriors,” a fake GoFundMe campaign that raised more than $4,500 before it was shut down last year.
Authorities say that Abbuhl lied on the page by saying that her 11-year-old daughter had a disease of the central nervous system and that her brain was shutting down.
The campaign got some attention, and in February 2021, Abbuhl and her daughter told their story on a local news station. At the time, Abbuhl said that her daughter, whose name has been changed because she is too young to be identified, had to give up her dream of playing softball.
“Her doctors were concerned that the sport was a little bit too physical for her with her medical condition,” she said. “So we had to make the tough decision last year that she was going to walk away and not be able to play anymore.”
When the softball team at Malone University heard about the girl’s story, they told their fans about the campaign. Even Abbuhl’s daughter was asked to throw out the first pitch at a practice game against Walsh University.
In May 2021, someone told the Stark County Department of Job and Family Services that Abbuhl’s mother had been lying to her daughter and the public for years “to obtain trips, housing, and other expenses.” This put an end to Abbuhl’s plan.
FOX8 got court documents that said, “A medical professional indicates there is no evidence to support mother’s claim that [the girl] is terminally ill.” The report also said that Abbuhl’s daughter had been going to counseling”for three years to deal with her own death.
Kyle L. Stone, the county prosecutor, said in a press release after the sentencing that Abbuhl’s guilty plea was “the best way to avoid the possibility of further traumatizing a child that has already been through so much.”
— New York Post (@nypost) November 23, 2022
Abbuhl should start doing her time at the Stark County Jail in January. If she stays good for the next six months, she will be let out.
Last Friday, Abbuhl’s lawyer, Paul Kelly, said in a statement to WKYC that Abbuhl’s daughter did have medical problems, including a lesion on her brain.
“Is this a case of merely an overly paranoid, genuinely concerned mother or someone who genuinely tried to profit from dishonesty?” Kelly asked. “Only mother will every truly know the answer to this… this deal was reached as compromise so that mom will be free after serving six months in prison provided she comports with prison behavioral guidelines.”
Kelly also said that Abbuhl’s daughter was “doing well” and was now living with her father.
Even though Abbuhl’s trick ripped off her community, things could have turned out much worse. In January of this year, The Post wrote about Kelly Turner, a mother from Colorado who lied about her daughter’s health to get at least $100,000 from charities. Turner’s abuse of her daughter caused her to die, which was a sad end to the scam.
“This truth…has caused such a deep pain that it continues to ravage me every day,” the girl’s grandfather told the court in January when he gave the girl’s killer a sentence.
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