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New charges for woman accused of faking cancer

TORONTO - An Ontario woman accused of pretending to have terminal cancer and keeping thousands of dollars in donations for herself is facing three new charges, her lawyer said on Monday.

TORONTO - An Ontario woman accused of pretending to have terminal cancer and keeping thousands of dollars in donations for herself is facing three new charges, her lawyer said on Monday.

Ashley Kirilow of Burlington, Ont., now faces six counts of fraud under $5,000 — of which three are new charges — and one count of fraud over $5,000.

Kirilow's lawyer Brendan Neil said the new charges are all related to the same allegations and time period as the others.

He couldn't say for sure if they relate to new complainants, but conceded there "may be a new person's name attached to it."

Police allege Kirilow, 23, faked cancer to raise money that she promised to give to charity, but kept the cash for herself.

The charges are before the court Tuesday and Kirilow is expected to attend.

Kirilow turned herself in to police on Aug. 6. The young woman's $5,000 bail was granted without a deposit, so no one had to provide the money up front.

As part of the conditions of her release, Kirilow has been under the supervision of the John Howard Society, a non-profit organization that assists people in trouble with the law.

On Monday, Neil said Kirilow is eager to "move on with her life."

"It has been set for plea court," said Neil, before adding he didn't anticipate the matter to be resolved by Tuesday.

Neil said it's difficult to explain how Kirilow is handling the much-publicized case, which had talk shows buzzing about it in the United States and led to a flood of angry messages on websites worldwide.

"I'd like to say (she's) doing as well as you could expect, but I don't know what you could expect in this situation," the lawyer said.

"There's nervousness, there's all sorts of feelings that are going through her right now and a lot of that comes from, 'Where do I go from here?'"

Kirilow's family refused to show up at her previous court appearance. Her father, Mike Kirilow, has said in the past he won't support his daughter. Her mother, Cindy Edwards, has also said she wants "nothing to do with her anymore."

But Neil said Kirilow does have people in her life who have offered support.

"She has external support in her life, but I don't know if those people would want to expose themselves," he said.

When allegations surfaced against Kirilow, public outrage was swift and furious. Angry comments were splashed across the Facebook page set up for Kirilow's so-called charity, Change for the Cure, with some even saying they hoped she got cancer.

At the time, photos on the website showed Kirilow smiling, but looking sallow as she wore a pink knit hat to cover her apparently bald head.

In the picture, she also made fists to show off tattoos on her knuckles that read in black lettering "Won't quit." Other photos had shown a pair of hands wrapped in tubes and taped with needles.

Kirilow's father has said he gave his daughter every opportunity to "do the right thing."

He said in 2009, his daughter told him she had cancer and asked for a bone marrow donation. He said she shaved her head and her eyebrows and plucked her eyelashes to appear to have the illness.

Mike Kirilow and volunteers from her charity eventually contacted authorities to let them know about his daughter's alleged scheme.

One report published before Kirilow was charged had the young woman saying she was sorry for what she did.

 
 
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