A federal grand jury for the Southern District of Illinois has returned an eight-count indictment charging Sarah A. Delashmit, 35, of Highland, with alleged wire fraud, mail fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Delashmit is accused of falsely claiming she had breast cancer and genetic disorders to receive financial assistance and other benefits.
According to the indictment, Delashmit allegedly falsely claimed she was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) to attend Camp Summit, a nonprofit camp serving individuals with disabilities located in Texas. The indictment further alleges that while at Camp Summit, Delashmit impersonated an individual with disabilities by confining herself to a wheelchair and pretending to need assistance with most daily activities, such as getting dressed and bathing, despite being fully able to walk and care for herself.
In addition, the indictment alleges that Delashmit falsely claimed she was a breast cancer survivor to go on a trip and receive donated items through the Young Survival Coalition (YSC), a nonprofit organization serving young adults who have been diagnosed with cancer based in New York. Delashmit is also accused of making false statements to a credit card company and an internet retailer to obtain a triathlon bicycle valued at $4,499.00 without paying for it.
Delashmit is due in federal court for her initial appearance on March 24, 2020, at 10:00am. A trial date has not been set. If convicted, Delashmit faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the mail fraud and wire fraud charges. The aggravated identity theft charges each carry a mandatory sentence of two years imprisonment.
An indictment merely is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI and Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Luke J. Weissler.