A Vernal businesswoman accused of pretending her 4-year-old daughter was suffering from cancer in order to collect cash donations has been charged with communications fraud.
Abreail Winkler, 30, was charged Tuesday in 8th District Court with one count of third-degree felony communications fraud, which is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Police said Winkler told them she made up the cancer diagnosis to get the attention of a man, but "things got out of hand," according to court documents.
Winkler allegedly raised $3,183 from fundraisers and private donations, which well-wishers expected would help cover the young girl's medical expenses.
Instead, Winkler, who owns the business Tenacious Clothing, allegedly told police she used the money to pay her own bills, court records show.
The child's father told police he didn't know his daughter had been diagnosed with cancer or was receiving treatment for it.
Police said their investigation revealed the child did not have cancer.
Winkler is scheduled for an initial court appearance on Sept. 9.