Pesnacola Woman Sentenced for Faking Illness

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida Panhandle woman has been sentenced to 364 days in jail and 18 months of probation for faking an illness to raise more than $19,000.
A psychiatrist testified Thursday that Sonja Luker has factitious disorder, which causes people to make up illnesses to get sympathy from others. Judge Joel Boles didn't buy the defense and gave Luker the maximum sentence for the fraud charge she pleaded no contest to in March.
The Pensacola News Journal reports Luker and her husband Gerald were accused of swindling friends and co-workers out of money after telling them she had cancer.
Authorities say the couple used $14,000 to keep their home out of foreclosure.
A fraud charge against Gerald Luker was dropped after he made restitution in the case.

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