A Bucks County woman who lied about having terminal cancer and held fundraisers to pay medical bills must pay back nearly $50,000, the state Attorney General's office announced.
Danielle Kunkel, of Newtown, claimed in 2011 she was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic lymphoma and had incurred nearly $1 million in medical bills. An investigation with the attorney general's office found Kunkel didn't actually have cancer
"Our investigation showed this woman misled her family and friends, which resulted in their seeking donations for her benefit through the generosity of others," Attorney General Kathleen Kane said. "This type of behavior is absolutely unacceptable. The settlement reached in this case will serve as a strong deterrent to prevent this conduct from occurring again in the future."
Kunkel also claimed she had to travel to Germany for treatments. In her absence, family members and friends held fundraising events, including a dinner, dance, raffle and silent auction, which raised more than $36,000.
The woman also set up a website, PayItForwardForDanielle.com to raise funds, which violated the state's Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act and the Local Option Small Games of Chance Act.
As per the settlement, Kunkel must pay $49,906, which includes restitution, civil penalties, attorneys' fees and costs of investigation. She is also barred from participating in charitable organizations or foundations.