That’s Really Ratchet: Woman Pretends to Have Terminal Cancer To Obtain Lavish Wedding

April 10, 2012  |  

A former resident of New York, 25-year-old Jessica Vega has been charged for lying about having leukemia in order to get lavish wedding gifts and money.  People donated to the woman after she made them believe that she was dying. An Orange County grand jury has indicted her with five counts of grand larceny and one count of scheme to defraud for accepting thousands of dollars worth of items and donated services for her big day. Vega got married in 2010, and she and her husband, Michael O’Connell, went to Aruba for their honeymoon. However, four months later O’Connell revealed to people that his new wife faked the illness. I’m guessing he thought her actions were just as dirty as everyone else, because they allegedly divorced over the incident (according to AP). O’Connell says that he wasn’t aware that she was faking when they got married (sounds like someone got trapped…), and when he found out, he helped with the attorney general’s investigation. O’Connell and Vega have two kids now, and despite how bad this makes Vega look, her former husband says, “She’s a good mom, and that’s all that counts at the end of the day. I want my kids to have their mother back.” He believes that she needs mental health treatment rather than jail.

According to the Times Herald-Record, Vega told numerous publications and people that her wish before she passed was to marry O’Connell, the father of her daughter. Reports on it helped the woman garner more and more donations, as people from far and wide rushed to help her have a beautiful wedding and honeymoon. She even showed fake documentation to prove she was in fact ill:

“Vega had offered a letter, purportedly from a Westchester doctor, as proof of her diagnosis, but the doctor’s staff later denied seeing Vega. Along with the felonies, Vega faces a misdemeanor charge of possessing a forged instrument.”

Blame it on the wedding obsessed culture we live in (Hey Bridezillas!) or the fact that this lady just really is a very troubled and cold person, but it’s very sad and pathetic to see that people are out here lying about a serious illness so that they can drop it low in an expensive gown and tan on the beach during a honeymoon they lied to get. She needs to do a lot of community service, soul searching, pay everyone back and hope that karma doesn’t come back to bite her in the behind, because she was wrong on every level possible.

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  • Amija James

    As Americans we are powered by “stuff”.  Some will lie, cheat and steal just to get it.  Sometimes we have to learn the hard way that life isn’t about stuff.  She could’ve had a small intimate wedding that she could afford instead of now looking at jail time.  

  • tastythoughts

    thats foul

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  • RenJennM

    Humans never cease to find a new low everyday. smh wow

  • emily

    wow i bet she never imagined she’d lose her husband over this. 

  • L-Boogie


  • L-Boogie

    They should kick her a**!  Many people are actually dying and they need financial support.  This bish is an a**hole!

  • Born2Reign1972


  • Rachael

    She’s a sociopath. There is no cure or help for that mental defect. 

  • Alpha24

    So sick of people using the “this person has a mental issue and should not be jailed” meme. This woman is a cold-blooded, calculating, manipulative thief, that played on other’s emotions. She deserves no mercy. She knew exactly what she was doing and I’m willing to bet she has manipulated people in the past. SMDH. She just better hope and pray she doesn’t develop cancer for real. God don’t like ugly.

    • Sassy

      I agree on the mental illness part, such a flimsy excuse. Since when has lying and deceiving people become a mental disease? At this rate, the greater part of Americans would all be mentally unfit; ‘cos it seems everyone has one mental illness or the other. And additional new ones are allegedly discovered daily. SMH!

      • “Since when has lying and deceiving people become a mental disease”

        I’m pretty sure in the 70-80’s. From a medical point of view, she could have Antisocial Personality Disorder (Characterized by:.a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of
        others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into
        Or Narcissictic personality disorder ( Characterized by: pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy)

    • Mrsadkiah

      I agree with you completely. Even if the person does have a emotional or psychological disorder, I still feel that they should be sent to prison, not some cushy mental institution or the like. I’m a psychology major and we discuss this all the time in our classes and my peers look at me like I’m crazy lol! I know I’m not the only person who studies psychology who feels this way, apparently just the only one around here. 

    • tastythoughts

      agreed, you dont conduct a scheme using a fatal illness and then cry mental illness…no…your  crazy but not in the DSM IV kinda way

  • Ms. Spring

    The family needs to sue her.  She won’t get away with it.

  • RedButterfly81

    She should give all that money back and her husband should divorce her a**!

    • Cocoa_kisses2386

      The article clearly states that they are now divorced.

      • KatKat

         They got back together and had another child.