Officials with the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office say a Port Byron couple lied about their child having cancer, and tried to make money off it.
“We started investigating this incident about four months ago. We were tipped off by an outside source that was not connected to the family that alerted us that there might be some suspicious activity here relative to this GoFundMe page and the solicitation for donations,” said Cayuga County Sheriff's Office Det. Lt. Brian Schenck.
Martin and Jolene LaFrance were arrested for scheme to defraud and child endangerment.
“The scheme to defraud charge stems from the fact that multiple victims were defrauded out of money, those being donations to the GoFundMe page and then the endangering the welfare of a child charge comes from the fact that we believe that the child was led to believe that he did have cancer at some point when he in fact did not, had not been diagnosed with that,” said Schenck.
People we spoke with in the community say justice should be served.
“In my eyes, full extent of the law and nail it to them. It's not fair. There's people who actually have cancer and want this,” said Tonya Conway who grew up in Port Byron.
“To lie about cancer of all things for your own child to have, it's ridiculous,” said Amanda Perrotta who works in Port Byron.
Sheriff investigators believe the couple collected around $3,000 through the site.
The couple's arraignment is in Montezuma Town Court May 16th.