Wallingford man arrested for faking cancer, raising thousands

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WALLINGFORD -The Wallingford man accused of faking cancer and collecting almost $23,000 in donations posted bond Thursday.

Police said Tyler Tomer, 29, faked cancer in order to collect thousands of dollars in donations.

Police said he shaved his head and took weight loss pills to convince people he had stage 3 brain cancer.

In May, police said they received a complaint about a man who was reported to be raising money from multiple benefits put on in his honor to pay for terminal brain cancer. Police got the call from Tomer’s uncle who told police that the man didn't have cancer.

The complaint was made public on Facebook and within days several other complaints were filed with police.

Police say Tomer collected donations he was claiming to use for treatment.

"They did a lot of leg work to really show he didn't have cancer, medical records, financial records, showing he took money from fundraisers people had for him to put in his own account," Lieutenant Cheryl Bradley said.

Tomer even had  Sheehan High School fooled. The former star athlete was given a pasta dinner fundraiser. There was also a dress-down day where students donated money.

"He would go down to Sloan Kettering," Bradley said.  "He'd bring people with him. He'd pretend to go in for an appointment."

Police said the man collected thousands of dollars through various donations and benefits which took place not only in Connecticut, where he used to live, but in Kansas, too.

Howard Schwartz of the Better Business Bureau explained how such a scheme is able to work.

"One of the most useful tools for a criminal is our sense of generosity," Schwartz said. "We are among the most generous people on the face of the Earth. We want to help."

He was charged with first-degree larceny and first-degree larceny by defrauding a public community and is free on $250,000 bail.

 

Tomer's family members were in court to support him, but they had no comment. He’s due back in court on March 3.