Woman gets 8 years in cancer con

October 6, 2009 8:44:32 AM PDT
An Ohio woman has been sentenced to eight years in prison for scamming family and friends out of tens of thousands of dollars by claiming her husband was sick with cancer. Thirty-year-old Melanie Chen, of Columbus, also was ordered to pay more than $792,000 in restitution to the 13 victims, plus court costs.

In August, the mother of six pleaded guilty to one count of theft. In exchange for her plea, a charge of receiving stolen property was dismissed.

Chen was sentenced Tuesday. She could have received up to 10 years in prison.

Her husband, 38-year-old Phylip Chen, also is charged in the case, but prosecutors have agreed to drop his charges if he passes a lie-detector test.

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