Chemotherapy. Radiation. Surgery.
Maria Sanchez-Kountz described a harrowing battle with terminal ovarian cancer to her doctors, and told them her fight was coming to an end, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The 36-year-old Steilacoom woman said she wanted no more treatment, just narcotics to ease her pain.
But the cancer was a lie, and U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle on Monday sentenced her to repay nearly $103,000 she fraudulently received in disability and medical benefits.
He also ordered her to do 100 hours of community service and to spend 60 days confined to her home.
Sanchez-Kountz said the “cancer” kept her from working, and she collected benefit payments between February 2012 and July 2016.
During some of that time, she worked as a seamstress, falsely promoting her tailoring business online by claiming she was a cancer survivor.
She was caught after medical professionals could find no records of her previous treatment at the places she said she’d been a patient, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
She pleaded guilty in December to theft of public funds.
At sentencing, Settle pointed out that Sanchez-Kountz is a single parent of two children.