UWCHLAN TWP, Pa. - A Chester County woman and former Exeter Township firefighter stands accused of faking a cancer diagnosis, and one podcast group in Berks County said it was among the first to debunk the alleged scam.
"We had a good idea that she was faking very early on," said Jeff Bergh, one of four hosts of the Ever Evolving Truth podcast.
Bergh, of Wernersville, said one of his co-hosts went to high school with Jessica Smith of Uwchlan Township. Police said Smith created a GoFundMe account, stating she had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer. She'd go on to raise more than $10,000, which police said she pocketed.
After a whistleblower went to police, detectives said they found several holes in Smith's story, saying Smith never went to doctors she said she visited, and other doctors she did visit told police she did not have cancer.
In a podcast recorded over the summer, as police were investigating, Bergh and his co-hosts put pressure on Smith, asking her about people who had grown suspicious of her story. He said now that charges are filed, he and his co-hosts feel vindicated.
"We have actual people fighting cancer emailing us, saying thank you," said Bergh. "That's a weird feeling. What did we actually do? We created a podcast that entertained a bunch of people, but it actually meant something to a lot of people. There's people that are really suffering out there that could have used these donations from these people that were willing to give it to them, and here she took it. That's an evil thing to do."