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Hillsdale PD: Washington Twp Man Faked Brain Tumor To Collect Donations

Joseph O'Connell
Joseph O'Connell Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Hillsdale PD

HILLSDALE, N.J. -- A Washington Township man pretended he had a cancerous brain tumor to scam people out of several hundred dollars in donations, authorities charged.

Joseph O'Connell, 29, was charged with theft by deception by Hillsdale police.

Police earlier this month "received information that O’Connell, who claimed to be ill, was receiving donations to help him in his fight against a cancerous brain tumor," Detective Bill Diedtrich said Friday.

"The tip questioned the veracity of O'Connell's illness and the legitimacy of his need for donations," the detective said.

Investigators determined that he "was not ill and was merely

soliciting donations and food for his own personal use," Diedtrich said.

O'Connell was released on a summons to appear Nov. 1 in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack.

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