Deputies: Couple made son believe he was dying of cancer to get - FOX Carolina 21

Deputies: Couple made son believe he was dying of cancer to get donations

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Booking photos of the Longs (Source: Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office) Booking photos of the Longs (Source: Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office)
FORT WALTON BEACH, FL (FOX Carolina) -

A Florida couple has been charged after deputies said they made their 13-year-old son believe he was dying of cancer in order to solicit donations to help cover his medical expenses.

Deputies with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office investigators say the Fort Walton Beach teen spent the last eight months believing he is going to die from brain cancer, but his medical records revealed no brain tumors exist.

Deputies said the parent’s attempt to defraud people was successful.

Below is an excerpt from a news release:

“The investigation revealed the pair set up a T-shirt fundraiser for the boy at his school last year and shared the bogus cancer diagnosis information on their Facebook accounts as well. In a post December 28th, investigators say Irovando claimed it was a miracle the boy had lived three days past Christmas and the only person that knows when he is supposed to go is God. Investigators say the victim appeared to be in good health in the photograph. When they talked to the child, he said Irovando told him he was going to die due to brain cancer back in May 2017. He says it scared him and he didn’t like to talk about it. He also told them Irovando and Long had created a Go Fund Me account on his behalf.”

Deputies said they began investigating in November 2017 after the school resource officer began to suspect that the couple was exploiting the victim for financial gain.

34-year old Ginny Irovando Long and her husband, 47-year old Robert Edward Long, were each charged with one count of child abuse and nine counts of fraud. They were arrested on Feb. 1. 

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