Woman charged with theft after faking cancer, collecting thousands in donations

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. (PIX11) -- A California woman who allegedly tricked friends and well-wishers into giving her money and gifts by claiming she had breast cancer has been charged with theft.

Police say 39-year-old Cristina Lagman took thousands of dollars from people who thought she was terminally ill.

Lagman shared pictures of her bald head and updates about chemotherapy on her Facebook page, friend Valerie Cortez told KTLA.

She also posted about her impending death.

For her Facebook cover photo, Lagman has a picture of two shirts reading "my girlfriend's too sexy for her hair," with pink breast cancer awareness ribbons.

A fundraiser was even held on her behalf at "Aces Comedy Club" in Murrieta.

The club's owner, Rocky Osborner, told KTLA that Lagman took the money that was raised and went on vacation.

Aces Comedy Club, which has an active presence on social media, has no posts about the events on their platforms anymore.

Eventually, people grew suspicious of Lagman, who went on the defense and defriended anyone who asked about her condition on Facebook.

Months later, Lagman was charged by the Riverside County District Attorney's Office with theft by false pretense.

Lagman has denied the allegations saying she has "not done anything illegal."

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