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“Cancer faker” story comes to an appropriately weird close

Screen shot from a Facebook group page for Demanding Ashley Anne Kirilow Be Held Accountable (Image: Facebook)

Last year, Toronto’s press was all over the bizarre story of Ashley Anne Kirilow, the young woman from Burlington who shaved her head and eyebrows to fake the appearance of someone undergoing intense chemotherapy, and who managed to bilk around $12,000 from well-wishers. That story came to a close yesterday as Kirilow pleaded guilty to the last counts against her in court. The conditions of her sentence are, appropriately enough, as “interesting” as the crime itself.

According to the Toronto Star:

Kirilow, 23, who is now living in the psychiatric ward of Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital in Burlington, pleaded guilty Thursday to outstanding fraud charges and was given a 15-month conditional sentence without jail time. She had previously pleaded guilty to one charge of fraud over $5,000….

Jointly submitted by the Crown and defence, and accepted by Justice Fred Forsythe, the sentence calls for 10 months of house arrest and five months under strict curfew, plus two years probation and 100 hours of community service. Kirilow is also barred from soliciting donations or canvassing for any charitable organization.

So, she avoided prison but is currently “serving house arrest” in a psychiatric ward, so it’s not like she’s free to go or anything. She’s required to spend 100 hours serving the community, but can’t volunteer at a charity where she’d have to handle money. A fair precaution, but these kinds of sentencing conditions seem to crop up more in cases with sexual offenders than in common fraud. But then again, the whole fascination with this fraud is that it wasn’t the least bit “common.”

Woman who faked cancer sentenced to 10 months house arrest [Toronto Star]
Cancer faker Kirilow spared jail [CBC]
• Ontario woman who faked cancer receives conditional sentence [Globe and Mail]

  • Phil

    It’s actually quite common. There are people walking around downtown every day, asking people to help them with bus fare to Hamilton, or their car broke down, or their girlfriend has locked them out…it’s more common than you think. Also for hot water heater repairs (read the news) and all kinds of door-to-door scams.

  • Marc

    But asking for a bus fare, etc. is not mocking the condition of the million of people who suffer, and who die of cancer. Perhaps she should be afraid of the saying, what goes around comes around…

  • D

    This woman makes me sick. Karma will not be kind to her.

  • randall Dern

    poor girl got caught….now she is history how about we pursue our politicians for their fraudulent crimes..

  • Sarah

    I think this is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard in my life. My Grandmother, Aunt, and Cousin have all died because of cancer. Another of my cousin’s is currently raising her 2 nephews and niece because her brother had been killed in a motorcycle accident about 10 years ago, and his wife finally succumbed to cancer earlier this year after a long and painful battle. I’ve seen the suffering and pain chemotherapy causes. How could anyone want to fake that? This girl obviously has some serious mental issues to have come up with this scheme. And where are her parents and family through all of this? Wouldn’t they have thought it a little strange when their daughter showed up with a shaved head & eyebrows, and no eye lashes, when she’s perfectly healthy? I can’t believe that she’s not going to be doing some serious time behind bars. 10 months under house arrest and 5 months with a strict curfew as a punishment seems just laughable. The whole thing makes me sick.

  • Tom

    Why do people donate to cancer victims anyway? Be outraged at the idiots who fork over money at every opportunity then cry when they get scammed. I saw a kid at the beach selling painted rocks yesterday,I didn’t buy one. Wanna know why? Because I have no use for a painted rock.

  • Tom

    …and she obviously has mental issues, shes in a psych ward. there’s too many “victims” out there, use your head people.

  • Ralph

    Surely, if restitution of the funds fraudulently obtained isn’t practical, then she should make a contribution to the Cancer Society or a cancer center at the very least equal to that amount. Whatever her problems, she knew what she was doing was wrong and she should pay for it.

  • Ann

    This poor excuse for a human being should have got the maximum sentence & her community service should be cleaning up the puke of chemo patients & emptying the bedpans of the REAL cancer victims for a very, very long time.

    This could very well come back & bite you in the A$$, Ashley & the little girl who cried wolf will have no believers because no one will give a crap!

  • Mark

    @Tom: You have no idea what you’re talking about. She was a well-known friend to many people in the area who all thought she needed desperate help so they organized fund raisers for her. It would be the same no matter what disease it was.

    Clearly she has mental issues… and NOW she’s in a psych ward because she needs help. You’re getting it bass ackwards.