Skip to content
Log In | Sign Up Connect

What’s your story?

Share and find customer experiences

Connect with the people behind them

Wacktrap is
feedback made social

Post Your Wack Now

Trending Content


Complaint Says Teen Stole 17000 in Fake Charity Leukemia Cancer Scam TX

| Share

by hearit

hearit's picture
In The News

Financial scams are bad. This one's worse as a Texas girl--who ironically became prom queen over what police allege is a scam--is accused of the unthinkable by cancer survivors and families: A complaint says the 18-year-old stole $17,000 under the guise of being terminally ill with leukemia. The girl who cops say falsely claimed to be dying was raking in thousands under the fake foundation name of the “Achieve the Dream Foundation”.
One person was achieving the dream – but it wasn’t someone helping others. Angelica Gomez gave motivational talks, and was apparently very believable. Picking the name of a fake charity foundation wasn’t too difficult it seems. It appears Gomez ‘borrowed’ the idea from the (ironically) similarly-named ‘Achieving the Dream’ organization that focuses on community colleges – to up success rates among community college students, especially those in low-income earnings and students of different races or color. Angelica Gomez didn’t need color for her foundation – just one damned, fine actress who could pull off a stunt garnering herself a bit less than twenty grand in only months’ time. Its’ the stuff that would make any good scam artist prouder than proud.
Police say Texas teenager, Ruth Angelica Gomez, told friends, family and even a recently-engaged boyfriend that she’s been dying of cancer. That doesn't seem to be the case, at least not according to any medical facility. The young woman who cops describe as “pale and skinny” only did some of the work herself and was apparently very good at enlisting the aid of others: A caring group of friends and supporters helped to organize events, fundraisers and media interviews to show support – and garner their friend financial support – in her harrowing time.
There's more than one problem for the teenager now, but the additional issues have been sparked by a main factor: Those six months to live have passed, and yet Angelica Gomez is still here on earth. And it doesn't have anything to do with miraculous medical treatments that have extended her lifespan.
Apparently Gomez should’ve given herself a longer timeframe to continue garnering funds – and to find herself a way out of Texas before the scam was busted. For whatever reason, the teen chose not to head out of state before her death was supposed to occur. Nine months have passed -- more than three months longer than the Texas teen had given herself to ‘live’ -- and people began asking questions. At least one person in particular has been complaining, and those complaints went to a crucial and detrimental agency in terms of affecting Gomez's future well-being -- the  Horizon City Police Department that lies outside of El Paso.
Life is about to get a lot rougher for Angelica Gomez. Complaints about Gomez mean the one-time prom queen could be seeing herself behind bars – charged with theft by deception, or deceiving people by receiving donations under false pretenses. She’s not yet arrested, but if evidence coincides with suspicion, it may not be long before Gomez is no longer free. The teenager’s bank records have already been subpoenaed and the district attorney’s looking at a case against her.
The Horizon City Police Department doesn’t seem to be finding any type of proof that the 18-year-old has leukemia or potentially terminal illness. And the cops have been looking – for about three months now. In June cops received a complaint that Gomez was claiming terminal illness but didn’t look like she was sick. In the interim, she’s accused of garnering serious funds: The teenager had been collecting ‘donations’ for what she dubbed the Achieve the Dream Foundation. That supposed organization came to exist just the month before cops began investigating the complaint that Gomez may not be sick.
According to Gomez, she was looking to aid sick children – helping kids with leukemia successfully beat cancer. She’s now no longer accepting donations online after the cops received at least one formal complaint for investigation, but a cached version of the former ‘charity’ website reflects a smiling teenager. That teen, who looks an awful lot like Angelica Gomez, wears a tee reading: "Behind every fighter there is a supporter. Will you be mine?" At least one does not want to be hers – as VistaPrint, hosting service for the website, seems responsible in the current non-existence of the Gomez site. Apparently the low-cost printing service wants no more accusations that include any word like scam. The Achieve the Dream Foundation site has been yanked.
And lots of people were willing to give, to what they believed a worthy cause. People did believe in what is now known to be a fake charity set up by Gomez herself as the “Achieve the Dream Foundation”. And the teen somehow achieved a paler and more sickly appearnce while playing the role of a terminally ill woman stricken with leukemia. Appearances can be deceiving. Some now have an appearance they’d probably like to shed: The media or news outlets that pumped PR about the fake cancer charity including Channel 9 in West Texas, have still, inexplicably, chosen not to remove their previous coverage on the woman once believed legitimate.
Apparently there was a limited or complete lack of background check when the piece was done. News Channel 9 in West Texas still touts the news station’s support of Angelica Gomez and the fake foundation. About now would seem the appropriate time to disassociate from any potential scam artist. Even the teenager's web hosting service has been wise in that department.
In fact it seems Angelica Gomez missed her role in acting: Gomez frequently slept at the house of a youth leader, where she was staying -- and even requested rides to the local hospital specializing in cancer treatment. Even on the most intimate level, the girl fooled those closest to her. The soon-to-be-wed man in her life was misled about her supposedly acute cancer when he saw her take medications of some unknown type. She covered pretty much every angle except, perhaps, hair. How she covered for having hair is still unknown -- but the teenager was apparently very convincing, so she surely came up with some reason.
Even the Texas teenager's school backed her – or at least one kind-hearted and supportive teacher. High school teacher Jose Ramirez accompanied Gomez during her rounds of press or media interviews. The man even tried to take the teenager’s medical needs to a higher level of government awareness when the duped teacher suggested a proposal to the El Paso City Council: Ramirez felt the council should consider a week per year, to raise leukemia awareness, was in order.
It seems the school district doesn’t want that teacher making any more comments to the media at this point. Mum’s the word, for now.
It’s all a bit embarrassing. The educator’s last comments, just months before the scam was revealed and investigators were tipped off by a complaint, included a statement to the El Paso press. In that public statement, Jose Ramirez indicated that essentially the high school or its teachers don’t always pay attention to what students do -- but that the ‘magnitude’ of what Gomez was doing was something that could not be ignored. Ramirez’ idea may well prove true – just probably not in the way he intended.
Equally as sick as the act that financially stole from people in Texas, a nearby high school of caring kids even threw a prom party fundraiser for the girl who lived near El Paso – believing she was terminally ill after being stricken with cancer. Da Vinci High School students, apparently led to believe the girl had been forced to miss her own senior prom while in cancer treatment,  became the belle of the ball.
The high school funded the ultimate dream for the teen – providing limo transportation, an expensive prom dress donated by an expensive local boutique. And Gomez was named prom queen.
An out-of-state trip at the end of last year apparently resulted in some type of plan: The girl from Texas came home, to tell church members that a childhood battle against cancer – of more than a decade – was back, that she was fighting for her life in an illness leaving her with only months remaining. According to Gomez, she reportedly wasn’t going to live to see the summer. But then she did. And she inexplicably also chose to stay in Texas. Oddly, Angelica Gomez even asked the youth leader at First Methodist Church if there was a place to stay for a couple of weeks – because her mom had supposedly kicked her out of their home. Weeks turned into half of a year.
Apparently ‘illness’ and manipulation spread quickly: The church’s youth leader later heard that Gomez allegedly told her own parents she was staying with the woman because one of her kids was ill and needed assistance. Gomez was physically described as weak and sleeping frequently – not wishing to ‘impose’ much, and occasionally asking people to take her to a local hospital where she was supposedly undergoing cancer treatments for her leukemia.
The teenager had apparently been successful at spinning a story to the media, that she’d been essentially living at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City (TX) between the ages of two and just five years ago – at 13. Records may occasionally be lost or misplaced at medical facilities, but not usually 11 years worth of records. The hospital that specializes in treating cancer doesn’t seem to have those last 11 years of supposed records. In fact the hospital claims none for an Angie or Angelica Gomez – as in not one, in the past decade.
The Texas teen is apparently adept at working with guilt. The church youth leader who took her indicates there was a bit of suspicion on her part at points, but apparently found the subject a bit hard to tackle – stating that, basically, it made her feel kind of guilty to question a dying person. That'd be an understandable guilt for many.
Maybe spookier than the rest of it, if possible, is that Gomez is accused of fooling even those in her most intimate circle. The Texas teenager’s fiancé, Freddy Alcantar, must feel a bit freaked out at this point .He says the couple was planning to marry this past August – apparently before the scam was busted, back when the bride-to-be was still taking medications.
He and the youth leader apparently have something in common: Gomez’s fiancé also claims the ‘sensitive subject’ meant he didn’t inquire too deeply, or ask specifically what type of medications Gomez was taking.
Perhaps in his best interest, though a lovestruck young guy seems to not quite see things from that perspective yet, Gomez's former mate says he hasn’t heard from Angelica Gomez after the teenager apparently decided it was time to cut ties. Her former fiancé claims the last he heard from the woman, now thought to be behind a financially fruitful scam, was by telephone, when she told him she was going away during a call. 
Gomez has since disappeared from Alcantar’s life, in what is probably the biggest blessing the former husband-to-be could experience. The poor young guy claims he doesn’t know what’s real, and apparently hopes it’s all a rumor that will ‘blow over’. Seeing her in jail may change the naivete a bit.
Unfortunately, like many family members even loosely associated with those thought to be responsible for a crime, the guy suffered a financial loss – fired from his job that probably didn’t want any press or link to the woman who’s accused of ripping off a multitude.
Supposedly the small-town cops in a city of less than a 20,000 population were confused as to how – with all the media attention – the cancer charity scam was able to continue for as long as it has been successfully operating. Apparently the small-town mentality is confusing to local law enforcement, since those in a big city realize that media attention actually serves to validate scams longer. People do choose to believe, and have faith in, what they see on the news.
Police claim the girl’s parents had apparently seen a media article or two, and supposedly tried to get the teenage Gomez to correct the press inaccuracies (or lies) – but that cops aren’t sure what the teenager was telling her mother and father, who law enforcement says didn’t talk much with their daughter. At the age of 18, perhaps a wise mom and dad would have considered conveying a single piece of advice – like, ‘you’re an adult now, and are going to get charged with a felony.’
Perhaps Angelic Gomez's mother is the smartest of the batch – or at least knows her daughter best. The Texas teen’s mom has simply posted a sign in her home’s window, reading: 'No comment, call the detective.'


Horizon City, TX
United States
31° 41' 33.4032" N, 106° 12' 26.9244" W
| Share
Average: 5 (3 votes)