"By pretending to have a terminal illness, Vega inexcusably took advantage of the community's hearts and minds, and profited off of their generosity," Orange County Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. "Our office will hold this individual accountable for fleecing the public through lies and deception."
Ciastko isn't seeking reimbursement or taking legal action, but said she has been saddened by the situation and worries about how it could affect others who are actually in need.
"I am very betrayed by what happened. I am. I feel like the generosity of so many people was put in jeopardy, which is what's so sad," Ciastko said. "Unfortunately, I think she maybe ruined it for people that really could use the help."
But Ciastko said she hasn't been jaded by the experience. "Given the opportunity to do it again, I would in a heartbeat," she said.
Vega was arraigned in Orange County Court on Friday and pleaded not guilty. Her bail was set at $10,000 cash or $30,000 bond.
She is expected to be back in court on April 20.