A 21-year-old woman has been indicted for falsely claiming she had cancer to allegedly use donations to support her drug habit, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said.
Brittany Ozarowski, formerly of Selden, was arrested on April 1 and will be arraigned Wednesday on the sealed indictment in Central Islip.
Over the last 13 months, Ozarowski allegedly told prospective donors that she was suffering from different forms of cancer, including bone and brain cancer, stomach cancer, thyroid cancer and ovarian cancer, according to prosecutors. Ozarowski, who would plead for help outside supermarkets, “convinced store owners in this county and in Nassau to allow her to place donor jars in their place of business,” Spota said.
Prosecutors also said that she established a PayPal account and a website that read, “Brittany Ozarowski – Help Save My Life.”
“This was a despicable scam,” the district attorney said. “There was no cancer, no chemotherapy, no radiation, and no medical bills. There was just heroin.”
“The truth is she is a 21 year old drug addict with four open narcotics cases, and we have strong evidence she forged doctors’ notes to avoid court appearances,” he added.
A spokesman for the Nassau County district attorney’s office confirmed that investigators are also looking into whether the alleged scheme took place in Nassau.
Spota will hold a press conference Wednesday afternoon displaying Ozarowski’s donor jar, shirts purchased by a store owner who held a fundraiser to support her and gift certificates donated by local business owners.