Woman's Cancer Scam Prognosis: Five Years in Jail

Temple University

A Philadelphia woman who told the court she had life-threatening cancer in order to avoid prison has a new prescription,  five years in a jail cell.

Leann Moock was sentenced Thursday to almost five years in prison by a federal judge for an elaborate scam she concocted to delay reporting to prison in 2007 for her role in a separate scam involving stealing money from elderly bank customers.

The 35-year-old's prison evasion scheme began in August 2007, the day before she was supposed to start a four-month prison sentence, prosecutors say.

Moock, according to prosecutors, sent an email to her attorney saying that she had learned from a doctor's visit that same day that she had a mass in her stomach that needed to be treated.   She continued by telling her attorney and later the presiding judge in her case that the mass was cancerous and she was being treated with chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

Moock obtained fake telephone and email accounts and fabricated letters from her purported cancer doctor on letterhead from the Temple University Hospital where she said she was being treated, according to court documents.

"I've seen patients fight and win, but more times than not, when the cancer is this advanced and not responding to treatment, it is a losing battle," one letter, dated Jan. 12, 2008, and obtained by the Philadelphia Daily News read.

Moock's three-year scam ended in October when she was arrested and placed in federal custody.

Before that, however, she gave birth to a child, had a breast augmentation and a tummy tuck.  She also obtained more than $56,000 in bank loans for herself by stealing her father's identity while she was on the lam, the Daily News reports.

Moock pleaded guilty in November to obstruction, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.