Out of the United Kingdom, a 29 year old woman lied and faked cancer so that she could raise funds to have her dream wedding. Toni Standan lied to friends and even her now husband about having terminal cancer. Standan went as far as shaving her head to really sell the lie to her friends and family. The lie was so convincing that her friends started a Go Fund Me Page to give the couple “a wedding they deserve”. Even a local newspaper, the Liverpool Echo, picked up the story. As a result of the Go Fund Me Page, Standan received $11k in donations that she accepted.
Standan and her now husband did go through with the wedding and used that donated $11k to pay for it. It is reported that there were 150 people in attendance at the lavish event. The couple then went off to Turkey for their honeymoon.
What led to others becoming suspicious of Standan is when she claimed to have COVID-19 and yet still traveled around Europe. Two of her friends, one being Ashlea Rowson, decided to call and confront Standan about whether she really had cancer. The friends recorded the telephone conversation and during the call Standan cracked and admitted to the lies. Rowson reported that she hung up the call and immediately called the police with the findings.
Toni Standan pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation between February 2019 and April 2020. What is the punishment? 5 months in prison. The Sun reports, District Judge Nicholas Sanders had this to say to Standan when sentencing her:
"Every right thinking member of society would be appalled by your behavior.
Thankfully it’s not often this court has to sentence someone who has shown such a degree of shamelessness, such greed, or such a betrayal of friendship as you did to your friends and the wider community.
You made up an illness to gain the sympathy of your friends and sat back and watched as they raised money to support you.
You continued to embellish that tissue of lies, telling those same friends on one occasion that you only had weeks to live.
I don't accept what’s said that having started you simply couldn’t stop
Not only did you not stop but you made it worse. You gave newspaper interviews to engender public sympathy for your made up plight.
You used that money raised from the generosity of others to fund your wedding and holidays.
Such was your lack of shame that you kept taking money from them over many, many months."
Why did Toni Standan do this? Well that's certainly the million dollar question. She claims she wanted to have her "dream wedding" but clearly it takes more than that to really commit. Friends and family report that she used her father's condition to really pull on their heartstrings and get money out of them. Standan's father was 57 at the time of her scheme and he actually had cancer (which might have gave her the idea to claim cancer). She told friends and family that she desperately wanted him to walk her down the aisle at this "dream wedding" of hers. Unfortunately he passed away before the big day but there was a recorded message from him that was played back at the reception.
With all of this being said, does the punishment fit the crime? I think so. That's one heck of a lie to push and commit to. If you're going to commit to that, you should also commit to the punishment of said crime. For one thing it's morally corrupt but aside from that she actually stole money from people in the form of false information and one could argue manipulation. I think 5 months is completely appropriate, she's lucky she did not get more physical time. I will say she's getting way more emotional punishment, which is worse so you can take comfort in that if you are outraged she did not get more time. She is now forever remembered as the bride who selfishly faked cancer to gain money. She has isolated herself from her family and friends and that emotional strain that is put on her from that is not an easy burden to carry. Additionally, she might very well lose her husband as well because he reportedly did not know about the "lie"...which I'm not sure how he did not...it might have been a cover-up on her part to protect the husband but I digress. Regardless, it's not a great way to kick off a marriage...what are your thoughts on this fraud case out of the United Kingdom?