Mom loses Son’s Cancer Donations at Casino

September 20, 2011 | by admin | posted in news

46-year-old Sherry Holcomb recently confessed to authorities that she’d spent her son’s cancer donations at several casinos around the Buffalo, New York area. Holcomb’s son, Ryan O’Donnell, received $15,000 in donations from various people so that he could get cancer treatments at Buffalo’s Roswell Park Cancer Institute. However, all of this money appears to be gone after O’Donnell’s mother took the $15k to several casinos in both the United States and Canada.

Holcomb temporarily got away with the crime because she opened the bank account where O’Donnell’s cancer funds were deposited. Having direct access to the account enabled Holcomb to use the account’s debit card to do as she pleased. Eventually, the bank noticed that some of the supposed cancer donation account’s transactions were made at various casinos.

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After the bank contacted her, Holcomb came clean about her gambling addiction to the district attorney’s office. An excerpt from the letter she sent to the local DA read, “I have spent pretty much everything I had. I’ve spent the money at the Seneca Niagara Casino, Buffalo Creek Casino, Turning Stone Casino, Casino Niagara, Mohegan Sun casino, Harrah’s casino in New Jersey. I know it was wrong to spend his money and I’m sorry for doing it. I’m ashamed of myself.”

Despite the seemingly heartfelt apology, it doesn’t appear that Holcomb will get any sympathy from the prosecution in this case. Local district attorney Frank Sedita said, “The conduct of the defendant really offends me. I know, on the one hand, she’s suffering because her son is suffering from cancer, but on the other hand, she stole money that was being raised for the treatment of her own son for cancer, so she could finance her gambling. This goes beyond your basic con, when it’s your own mother doing this.”

Holcomb is still awaiting a court date, where she’ll stand trail for stealing her son’s cancer donations.

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