CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO)-- A Carson City woman who lied about her son dying of leukemia and set up a GoFundMe account to raise money was sentenced Wednesday to five years to 12.5 years in prison.
Victoria Morrison, 32, pleaded guilty to child neglect or endangerment causing substantial mental harm.
The boy is no longer in her custody, Carson City Deputy District Attorney Melanie Brantingham said.
“What she did to him was deplorable, was evil,” Brantingham said. “It’s some of the most depraved conduct that we’ve seen in our community. Not only what she did to the boy, but to the community at large. She perpetrated a fraud on the community and got the community behind her in this.”
Morrison was arrested April 14, 2017, after she said her son died of leukemia, but deputies found him alive and healthy at a motel.
She claimed he was dying of leukemia and set up a GoFundMe account. Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong said she collected about $2,000 in cash, gift cards and other donations from the account.
GoFundMe issued the following statement regarding this case:
"The GoFundMe platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means that in the rare case that GoFundMe, law enforcement or a user finds campaigns are misused, donors are fully protected and will get refunded.
In this case, the campaigns were removed from our platform, the campaign organizer has been banned from the platform, and all donors will be refunded.
This individual received a total of three donations totaling $185."
Additionally, the boy Morrison described as ill got special recognition at the December 2016 Holiday with a Hero shopping event with local emergency officials in Carson City.
KOLO profiled the family during the 2016 Christmas season, when the then-10-year-old got a Care Flight helicopter ride as a gift. Morrison said at the time that doctors didn't expect the boy to live until Christmas after being diagnosed with leukemia and a tumor in his leg.
Morrison’s children were represented in court by an attorney who described her actions as evil, Brantingham said.
Brantingham argued for a sentence of 8 years to 20 years, saying Morrison should have been the protector of the children.