A Hanover County woman is under arrest, accused of faking illness in order to obtain money.
Martha Nicholas, who has claimed to be a four-time cancer patient, is charged with two counts of obtaining money under false pretenses.
Nicholas has been the focus of multiple community cancer fundraisers, including for the American Cancer Society. Police officials said she also was given money by individuals due to her supposed condition.
Nicholas was arrested Wednesday night. She is due in court next week.
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Release from Hanover County:
The Hanover County Sheriff's Office received an anonymous complaint in April 2011 indicating that Martha A. Nicholas was falsely claiming to have cancer and as a result received financial support to address medical expenses and other financial hardships related to her illness.
After unsuccessful attempts to speak with Martha Nicholas regarding this complaint, Sheriff's Office Investigators began to evaluate the public announcements regarding her illness and seek the appropriate medical records to determine the validity of the complaint. Our investigation revealed no evidence of any cancer treatment at any medical faculty that had been publicly identified by Martha Nicholas during her many public appearances and testimonials. Investigators also found evidence of individuals that had given money to Martha Nicholas due to her proclaimed medical condition.
The findings of the investigation were reviewed by the Hanover Commonwealth's Attorney, Trip Chalkley, and a determination was made to charge Martha Nicholas with two counts of misdemeanor obtain money by false pretenses. Those charges were obtained and Martha Nicholas was arrested on 12/7/2011. Nicholas will be arraigned on these charges in Hanover General District Court on 12/16/2011.
While sufficient information has been obtained to support these charges, Investigators believe there may be those with information that would be of value to this investigation. Anyone with information on these cases is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at (804) 365-6140.