A Troy woman once sentenced to nine months in prison for faking breast cancer to swindle money is wanted after being indicted for theft involving an elderly or disabled person in Montgomery County.
Melissa A. Smith, 51, was indicted this week on four counts of theft involving a debit card. A warrant for her arrest was issued by a Montgomery County judge.
Smith is accused by Germantown police of “continuing to use her former roommate’s debit card number to make purchases long after they stopped living together,” according to Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Greg Flannagan.
A Germantown police report says that Smith stayed with a disabled Germantown man for a month in late 2017 and got her name as a second user on the man’s debit card and charged at least $2,000 without the man’s permission.
Smith was sentenced in August 2016 to prison after police said she scammed people out of money by falsely telling them she had breast cancer. One victim was an elderly Covington man in Miami County, and the second was a woman in Piqua, according to earlier reports.
“It is such depraved conduct,” assistant Miami County prosecutor Janna Parker said at the time before Smith was sentenced by Judge Christopher Gee in Miami County Common Pleas Court.
Defense lawyer Steve King said at the time that Smith was being treated for a previously undiagnosed bipolar condition. Smith said she wanted “to take care of the people I hurt, and make it right,” then move on.
One 2016 victim told police in a written statement that Smith told her she had Stage 4 cancer and only a few months to live. She asked for money for medications and living expenses, claiming she no longer could work. The woman said Smith approached her family and others, including cancer survivors, asking for advice and money.
“My family and friends went as far as to throw her a Christmas/birthday party at my home in November because she told us she would not live till Christmas,” the victim wrote then.
She said she accompanied Smith to the funeral home, at her request. Gee said then that Smith had an “ability to prey on the elderly and people with good intentions.”