Canandaigua woman admits falsely claiming she had breast cancer, pocketing donations

A 30-year-old upstate New York woman has admitted falsely claiming she had breast cancer and accepting thousands of dollars raised on her behalf.

Local media outlets report that Melissa Jones of Canandaigua pleaded guilty Wednesday in Ontario County Court to two counts each of grand larceny and criminal possession of a forged instrument.

She was charged in late February after a series of fundraisers that prosecutors have said took in from $20,000 to $30,000 from almost 200 donors. At the time of her arrest, police said 17 fundraisers had already been held or were planned through June.

Police say much of the money was recovered.

Jones is scheduled to be sentenced in March. She faces up to five years in prison.