Tyler Tomer of Wallingford, Connecticut, was charged Wednesday with first-degree larceny and first-degree larceny for defrauding a public community on after he allegedly faked having cancer in order to collect fundraising money.
Tomer, 29, reportedly shaved his head and took weight loss pills in order to back up his claims that he had been diagnosed with stage 3 brain cancer, according to the Associated Press. The police began an investigation into his claims after someone posted a complaint on Facebook claiming that Tomer did not have cancer. The police discovered that Tomer's medical records never showed him having been diagnosed with cancer.
"His friends and family started to get suspicious based on his activities. He was doing a lot of partying and wasn't acting like an ill person," said Wallingford Police Lt. Cheryl Bradley, according to WFSB-TV. "It was a pretty extensive fraudulent scam on his part."
Here's a look at Tyler Tomer, Wallingford man police say faked cancer for money. https://t.co/BIOgUqjVa9 https://t.co/wXW5qiZ4fZ— WFSB Channel 3 (@WFSB Channel 3)1454525392.0
Authorities say that Tomer accepted $22,000 in donations to help fund his alleged cancer-fighting actions, and the Wallingford Police noted that Tomer had received multiple benefits, including a golf tournament, a pasta dinner and GoFundMe pages in his honor, WFSB reported. Even his former school, Sheehan High School, where he was an athlete, put on basketball games where they wore his jersey number in his honor.
"It was disrespectful to a lot of people, I know a lot of his friends were questioning it," Matt Thurston, one of thousands who donated to Tomer's cause, told WFSB.
Although Tomer has allegedly accepted $22,000 in donations, his arrest warrant states that thousands of dollars more was offered before his arrest. He is currently being held on a $250,000 bond and is due to appear in court on Feb.17, according to the AP. The money was reportedly deposited into his account and spent on fast-food purchases, chain restaurants, bars and various other recreational activities, WSFB noted. Tomer allegedly told the police that "he needed money — and things got out of control."
Follow Kathryn Blackhurst (@kablackhurst) on Twitter