By Dave Andrusko
A jury in Arizona has convicted Chalice Renee Zeitner of faking a cancer diagnosis in a scheme to get the state to pay for the 2010 abortion of her 22-week-old unborn baby.
Zeitner was arrested in Georgia in May 2015 where authorities said she was using the alias Al Serkez. All told the 30-year-old Zeitner was convicted on 11counts, including fraudulent schemes, identity theft, theft, attempted theft, and forgery.
“Investigators say the scheme was discovered a year after the April 2010 abortion when a doctor who performed a C-section during Zeitner’s subsequent pregnancy found no signs of cancer,” according to the Associated Press. “Another doctor who was listed on medical records as having treated Zeitner for cancer later said he never treated her.”
Zeitner was enrolled in an Arizona health care program which would pay for abortion in very limited conditions, such as when the mother’s life is endangered. She did not mention cancer when she applied, prosecutors said.
Zeitner tried her scam twice. She first told her doctor in 2010
that her fetus had been exposed to radiation. After a specialist found her fetus was healthy, they say Zeitner didn’t give up the alleged scheme and forged a letter from another doctor that stated her pregnancy had to be terminated to save her life.
Undeterred, she forged a letter from another doctor which read that the abortion was necessary to save her life.
“Zeitner allegedly claimed before her abortion that she had stage IV cancer in her abdomen and lower spine and told her obstetrician that she was scheduled to resume cancer treatment at a hospital in Boston,” the AP reported.
The other many charges she was convicted of included defrauding charities for military vets and “using a fake identity on social media to convince her boyfriend to set up a fundraising website for her cancer treatments,” according to the AP.