Home / Top Story / Couple told child he had cancer to solicit donations

Couple told child he had cancer to solicit donations

A Florida couple said their 13-year-old son had terminal brain cancer to solicit donations for his “medical expenses.”

Now, they have been charged with child abuse.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office charged Robert Long, 47, and his wife Ginny Irovando Long, 34, with one count of child abuse and nine counts of fraud Thursday.

The Fort Walton Beach couple used the fake diagnosis to hold fund-raisers at the child’s school and online, the sheriff’s office said in a press release.

Investigators said the Longs shared the bogus diagnosis on their Facebook pages and also created a GoFundMe page in an effort to cash in on their son’s made up illness.

The office’s probe revealed that the boy is healthy and has no brain tumors.

The teenager told investigators that his mother told him he had brain cancer and would die in May 2017. For eight months he believed he was terminally ill, and did not like to talk about his fatal diagnosis, according to investigators.

The investigation began after a school resource officer raised suspicions about the boy’s diagnosis.

The officer suspected the couple was exploiting their son for financial gain.

child abuse

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