Cudahy woman accused of scamming neighbors with lies about cancer

CREATED May 5, 2014

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A Cudahy woman is accused of scamming neighbors with lies about cancer, eviction, and even family death -- asking them to fork over more than $50,000.

Nicole Leer wasn't shy about asking for handouts, but Monday, she avoided all eye contact with her victims.  

"The degree that she put me through - my family through - all this heartache and so forth, I’m still trying to deal with," said one victim, who asked to stay anonymous.  

It was only her husband Mark, who put his arm around her before the sentencing started.  

Leer told neighbors he was diagnosed with throat cancer, was dying with cancer, and had even died. Mark sat in court and is clearly very much alive.  

“To find out Mark didn't have cancer, I can't even tell you the impact of that. That’s a huge lie to tell a friend," expressed another victim and former friend.  

According to the criminal complaint, Leer also told an 85 year old neighbor her teenage daughter had been killed in a motorcycle accident and needed money for the funeral. The victims were outraged to later learn she was alive as well.

Leer held back tears as she apologized.  

"I am very remorseful,” sniffed Leer in court. “But I didn't mean to hurt them at all. I just needed help. And I will never ever do that to someone again."  

She was ordered to serve 14 months in the House of Corrections and five years probation.