Man faked brain cancer to get donations and food, NJ police say

HILLSDALE, New Jersey (WABC) -- A man from New Jersey claimed to have a brain tumor in order to collection donations from others, police said.

Officers in Hillsdale arrested 29-year-old Joseph O'Connell, of Washington Township, on Thursday. He's charged with theft by deception.

Police said O'Connell, who is unmarried and unemployed, solicited donations to help him in his fight against a cancerous brain tumor.

Someone tipped off police that O'Connell's illness was not legitimate and their investigation revealed that he was not ill, but was merely soliciting donations and food for his own personal use.

Following his arrest, O'Connell was given a summons and released.

Anyone who made donations to O'Connell is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Adam Hampton at 201-497-1537 or
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