Lehigh Valley

Dozens duped by scam to raise money for sick baby

Dozens duped by scam to raise money for sick baby

PEN ARGYL, Pa. - New information came to light Wednesday regarding the woman accused of faking her baby's illness and duping dozens out of thousands of donation dollars.

The Northampton County district attorney said Arielle Lucinda Brooks was involved in a kidnapping plot in Virginia several years ago.

A man who put his heart on the line for her spoke out Wednesday.

"If this is a lie, then I'm completely blown away," said Pastor George Cook, Nehemiah Center in Bangor, Northampton County.

Cook's confusion comes over allegations that Brooks, of Pen Argyl, Northampton County, a woman he knows and vouched for, may have faked her baby's illness for profit.

"I'm really in shock because, operating on the understanding of belief that this is very sick little girl," Cook stated.

Cook was helping Brooks find a bone marrow donor for her daughter, Myah, but Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said the "Save Baby Myah Foundation" was a ruse used for lining up donation dollars instead of finding a donor.

Morganelli said Brooks took at least $10,000 from charities and fund raisers.

National donor organization, Be the Match, held a bone marrow donor drive for baby Myah last December.

Cook said he had no clue it may have all been for a fake cause.

"When you watched the Labor Day telethon, do you ask Jerry Lewis if the person next to them is sick or not. You wouldn't even think to do that," Cook said.

In a statement, the National Marrow Donor Program said "any money raised at these drives support overall program costs and is not designated to help any single individual. We hope the allegations prove to be untrue, but we are confident that the processes we follow are based on the highest ethical standards."

Cook said he will continue to support different charities and hopes this doesn't affect others charitable efforts.

Brooks is expected to be charged soon.

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