The investigation started on October 22, 2015, when Child Protective Services reported to Sheriff’s Deputies that 46 year old Juanita Garcia was fraudulently organizing fundraisers for her seven year old child.
Sheriff’s Investigators working on the case discovered that Garcia was reporting to people in person and via social media, that her daughter had terminal cancer, and had months to live. Witnesses reported that Garcia would approach them asking for monetary donations to pay for her daughter’s cancer treatments.
Yesterday, Sheriff’s Investigators arrested Garcia for Exploitation of a Child, a third degree felony. Today, Garcia was taken before Hidalgo County Justice of the Peace Bobby Contreras where she was formally arraigned and given a $10,000.00 cash surety bond, and committed to the Hidalgo County Adult Detention Center.
The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office is urging the community to verify and confirm information from fundraisers that they choose to participate in. In many cases, asking questions and utilizing good common sense approaches can prevent someone from being the target of a fraudulent scheme. Legitimate organizations, groups, or persons who are fundraising will have ways to verify and confirm information about their events.
Source: Fox 7 Austin