Canandaigua woman charged with making false cancer claim

A 30-year-old western New York woman has been accused of falsely claiming she had breast cancer and accepting more than $20,000 raised on her behalf.

Local media outlets report that Melissa Jones of Canandaigua pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Ontario County Court to larceny and forgery charges in a 16-count indictment.

She was charged in late February, soon after the latest of several fundraisers held on her behalf. Authorities say the event at a restaurant on Canandaigua Lake took in about $20,000. At the time of her arrest, police said 17 fundraisers had already been held or were planned through June.

Police say a substantial amount of the money was recovered.