Prosecutor: Mom faked son's cancer, lied about being doctor - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Prosecutor: Mom faked son's cancer, lied about being doctor

FOX19 NOW/file FOX19 NOW/file
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

A mother pretended to be a doctor to get unnecessary medical treatment for her preschool-age son, who she falsely claimed had terminal cancer, Hamilton County prosecutors told jurors this week as her trial began.

Monika Burgett, 39, is on trial before Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Curt Hartman.

She was indicted last year on felonious assault, endangering children and telecommunications fraud.

Prosecutors say she falsely claimed her 3-year-old son had cancer and convinced relatives and doctors at a Cincinnati hospital that she was a doctor.

Court documents claim Burgett shaved the boy’s head and then posted photos of him to GoFundMe pages that ultimately raised $40,000.

“He receives no chemotherapy or medicine which would medically cause the loss of hair,” documents state.

From April 1, 2015 to April 5, 2016, Burgett is accused of taking her son from state to state to receive treatment, some of which included pain medications like methadone, oxycodone and trileptil, records show.

Doctors suspected child abuse and reported it to Hamilton County Department of Job & Family Services.

The now-5-year-old boy was removed from Burgett's custody in 2016.

The GoFundMe fundraising website says people who gave money Burgett will get refunds if it turns out she scammed them.

A GoFundMe spokesman said Wednesday donors are protected in the rare case a fundraising campaign is misused.

Burgett's lawyer acknowledges she lied about being a doctor but says she was trying to help her son, who now lives with his father in Texas.

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