Police: Woman Fakes Son’s Illness For Donations

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Photo Credit: Willoughby Police

Photo Credit: Willoughby Police

Photo Credit: Willoughby Police

WILLOUGHBY, OH — A former employee of a Willoughby restaurant was arrested for allegedly faking the illness of a family member for money.

According to Willoughby police, 34-year-old Jillian Knight was an employee at the Steak on a Stone restaurant in 2010 and informed her co-workers that her son was diagnosed with a deadly type of lung cancer.

Employees at the restaurant organized a benefit for Jillian and her son and gave over $600 in collected tips to Knight for Ryan’s treatment. A Wickliffe tavern, along with several other local businesses, held the benefit in May of 2010 in which $2,100 was raised.

Willoughby police say Knight quit her job shortly before the benefit and could not be located after the event.

Police contacted an associate of Knight’s, who said her son only suffered from asthma. Knight later admitted that she created the hoax and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Knight, who is now a Columbus resident, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor theft. She will appear in court on Thursday.

The $2,100 raised through the benefit was donated for cancer research.


  • .

    She has just made it harder for reputable charities to raise funds. Stick to making charitable donations though your church

  • Tina

    As a parent who has a young child who was diagnosed with cancer, I am so upset by this story!!!! The last thing we ever thought about was getting money from others! My concerns were about his health & care. People who do this disgust me! How could you use your child like this?

    • Ruth Hinamon

      I completely agree with you. My granddaughter was diagnosed at just a few months old, the last thing on our minds was money! All we could do was cry and pray for a miracle. Thank God! He performed one on our sweet little Emma

  • D.

    She just reinforces my resolve to never donate money to anyhing or anyone. If you need food, I will buy some, your child is sick, I will pick up the medications, but I will not give out any money. Too much fraud, especially with huge fundraisers. Most of the money raised goes to the management.

  • cassandra

    her son has true family that cares about him a lot but she has always made it difficult for them to see him . and this is not the first of her deplorable acts as a mother or person ….so sad !!!!!

    • Ruth Hinamon

      Sure wish I knew what steps I could take to get him permanently. But at this point his biological family has no rights to him. Father isn’t on the birth certificate :(

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