An Arizona woman with a history of committing fraud and faking cancer to scam money away from charities and nonprofit organizations is now on trial for stealing money from veteran charities. Chalice Zeitner, a 30-year-old dead-beat from Phoenix, AZ is on trial answering for her crimes. Zeitner was indicted on Aug. 17 and watched the court proceedings from a room at the back of the court. Judge Pamela Gates allowed Zeitner to watch the trial from a distance, presumably to for her safety and to hide her shame for her heinous crimes. Maura Quigley of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, accused Zeitner of “profiting from nonprofits.”
In April, Zeitner was found guilty on 11 counts of fraud and forgery. Some of the charges coming from 2010 when she claimed she had cancer so she could get a taxpayer-financed abortion.
Abortions are typically performed on women suffering from cancer so that they can begin treatment without harming the developing fetus. According to her lawyer Zeitner believed that she did have cancer at the time. However, her history leads prosecutors to believe she was “working the system” to receive free health care and they intent to make her pay.
While Zeiter has clearly committed several crimes that call her ethical and moral views into the question the trial will focus on crimes that involved taking advantage of veterans and veteran charities.
A 2010 investigation revealed that Zeitner worked with Veterans Hope charities and Armed Forces Racing. Zeitner forged relationships using a number of lies such as saying she served in the Marine Corps, was a race-car driver, and practiced with a successful law firm in South Africa.
Charges from 2012 show that Zeitner fraudulently and illegally obtained personal information of the Veterans Hope founder and used his family’s personal information, such as Social Security numbers, names and dates of birth, to open a credit-card account under their names without their knowledge or consent. Zeitner attempted to hide the money by depositing it into her boyfriend’s account without his knowledge. According to the prosecution Zeitner ran up a bill of $25,000 that was never repaid.
Her most elaborate crime occured when she contacted the Veteran Tickets Foundation. Zeitner posed as a member of a sponsorship organization. She claimed she was holding a funding raising gala in Washington D.C. and extorted $10,000 from the organization which was deposited into her PayPal account and never returned. Not only was the money never returned but the event was completely fabricated and never took place.
The defense and prosecution stated that their cases would focus on the scam related to the gala. The prosecution called her a “talented con artist” and fear she will use her sociopathic tendencies to attempt to sway the jury into believing she suffers from mental health issues.