MESQUITE — A 36-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of trying to collect money by lying that one of her five children was suffering from a malignant form of liver cancer.
Shawnanna Starr Flores of Mesquite, 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, was arrested Friday night on felony charges of obtaining money under false pretenses, fraud, theft and child abuse, according to the Mesquite Department.
Flores is accused of falsely stating that a 7-year-old son had a liver cancer known as Hepatoblastoma.
The Spectrum of St. George, Utah, reported a benefit car wash on Aug. 24 raised $404 to benefit the child and a garage sale netted an undisclosed amount of money.
In addition, a fund was established for the youth at Wells Fargo Bank and money jars were placed in businesses around Mesquite.
Police said Flores was booked into the Mesquite jail and was to be taken to the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas sometime over the weekend. It wasn’t immediately clear if she had an attorney.
Investigators said future fundraisers were scheduled in Mesquite to assist the child, and the case came to light when organizers of one of them dropped him from the list of beneficiaries after Flores failed to provide documentation of her son’s liver cancer.
The newspaper reported that Flores and her family shaved their heads Monday in support of the boy, who they claimed was losing his hair because of chemotherapy.