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Police: Southern Indiana woman faked cancer, took more than $3,000 in donations

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Santana Banta

PATRIOT, Ind. — Indiana State Police say a southern Indiana woman faces charges for pretending to have terminal cancer to solicit more than $3,000 in donations.

Authorities say 29-year-old Santana M. Banta of the Ohio River town of Patriot is held at the Switzerland County Jail after she was arrested Friday. State police said the investigation started after they received a tip at the beginning of September claiming that Banta had made numerous social media claims she had terminal cancer.

Police say Banta set up an online account to allegedly pay for medical bills, but was instead using the money for personal expenses. State police said detectives determined that Banta doesn’t have cancer.

She faces a felony theft count and misdemeanor deception count.