Woman who faked cancer sentenced to 1 year in jail

By Ed White

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 19 2014 8:49 a.m. MST

SANDUSKY, Mich. — A Michigan woman who lied about dying of cancer was sentenced Wednesday to one year of imprisonment for cheating an insurance company and swindling sympathetic people in small communities.

Authorities said it was all an extraordinary lie: No doctor has stepped forward to even suggest that Sara Ylen had cancer.

The judge said Ylen, 38, will serve the one-year sentence concurrently with a minimum five-year prison term she was sentenced to in a separate case.

Ylen, of Lexington, accepted thousands of dollars from supporters and was treated by a hospice service for two years. She pleaded no contest to fraud through false pretenses and false statements.

A no-contest plea in Michigan is treated like a regular conviction for the purpose of a sentence.

Ylen's sweeping deceits have amazed her former allies. In the other case, in St. Clair County, she was sentenced to a minimum of five years in prison for falsely accusing two men of rape.

Ylen claimed she developed cervical cancer from a sexual assault in 2001 and was regularly treated at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Zion, Ill.

Mercy Hospice cut her off in 2011 when tests showed her life wasn't in peril. By then, her insurer had paid about $100,000. The cancer hospital also said it had no record of her as a patient.

In 2012, Ylen attended a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for her at Croswell Wesleyan Church in a wheelchair. The event raised $10,800 for everyday bills, just a fraction of her grassroots financial support.

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