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Highland woman admits faking muscular dystrophy and breast cancer diagnoses in scam

Highland woman admits faking muscular dystrophy and breast cancer diagnoses in scam


HIGHLAND — A disgraced former nurse from Highland in 2015 and again in 2016 took to a wheelchair at a charity camp in Texas and allowed others to help dress her and bathe her while she claimed to have muscular dystrophy.

Even after being caught in that lie by her family and her pastor, Sarah A. Delashmit assumed the role of breast cancer survivor from October 2017 to March 2018 so she could attend the Young Survival Coalition national summit in Orlando, Florida, and score donated items including a Giant Avail road bicycle and cycling gear.

Delashmit, 35, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S District Court to four felony counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud. She admitted defrauding two nonprofit groups and taking spaces at the camp and the summit that would have gone to people who truly suffered from those diseases and needed the help.

She also admitted buying a $4,499 triathlon bike with her mother’s credit card, then falsely claiming that the purchase was fraudulent so that she could get the bike for free.

As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to drop aggravated identity theft charges that would’ve meant at least two years in prison. Both prosecutors and Delashmit’s lawyers have agreed to recommend a sentence of eight months in prison at her sentencing in January.

Delashmit was caught lying on multiple occasions before she was indicted on the federal charges in March, public records show.

She received a “severe reprimand” from the Oklahoma Board of Nursing in 2014 and surrendered her license after she was accused of faking pregnancy twice while working in the neonatal intensive care unit in Oklahoma City. The second time, she stuffed pillows in her clothing and even showed colleagues ultrasound pictures before claiming her twin fetuses died, according to the settlement with the board.

In order to regain her license, she had to pass a psychological evaluation, the settlement said.

In 2015, she agreed to the suspension of her nursing license in Illinois and was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation after regulators said she failed to report the incident in Oklahoma and was “mentally or physically unsafe to a degree that is or might be harmful or dangerous to the health of a patient or the public.”

She no longer is licensed in any state.

In an episode of the “Dr. Phil” program last year, Delashmit said she had a “lying addiction,” saying it was an “irresistible impulse.” Former friends on the show said she lied about having a husband and an armed stalker.

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Related to this story

The March 3 indictment of Sarah A. Delashmit says she falsely claimed to be a breast cancer survivor to go on a trip and pretended to have mus…

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