Irish woman charged over bogus fundraiser for boy (4) who died from rare cancer
An Irish woman living in the US has been charged with fraud after allegedly selling fake raffle tickets in the name of a young cancer victim.
Tracey Jacqueline Weir (35), originally from Co Tyrone, allegedly sold fundraiser tickets in a number of Irish bars and restaurants in the Yonkers area of New York.
The fake raffle was to be 'held' at an Irish community centre for the late Nolan Scully (4), who died from a rare cancer in February this year.
Police released a statement saying they arrested Weir after the Aisling Irish Community Center notified them that no such event was due to take place.
Tickets were being sold with an image of Nolan Scully downloaded from a Facebook page set up by his mother in his memory.
The fake fundraiser promised raffle prizes such as an Ipad and Visa gift cards. Tickets were being sold for $25 (€21) and the bogus raffle was due to take place on July 29.
Police commissioner Charles Gardner said: "This defendant allegedly defrauded multiple people using the name of a deceased child. Not only were the victims affected, but the family of Nolan Scully more so; their unimaginable loss was exploited for selfish greed, compounding their pain and suffering. It is our hope that with this arrest, we can offer the Scully family some degree of closure to this upsetting incident."
Nolan's mother Ruth Scully took to Facebook to express her outrage over the incident.
Posting on the page NolanStrong, she said: "The more I think about this, the more furious I get for numerous reasons.
"Knowing that any of Nolan's 'friends' could potentially have been taken advantage of by this person is saddening. Thankfully, most people do not think and act like this person, but those that do, I urge them to visit their local Pediatric Oncology Unit or sit and have a thirty minute conversation with a bereaved mother that watched their child suffer and die in front of their eyes."
Weir is due in court on August 25.