HOUSTON - Michelle Wasicek said she spent nearly six months of her life caring for and raising money for Misty Mink, a woman she'd met through a mutual friend who claimed to have cancer in her knees.
"I feel betrayed and hurt and used," said Wasicek. "I figured this girl is young and she has a fighting chance, and I would want somebody to help me."
It wasn't just Wasicek who wanted to help. Benefit concerts were held, raising more than $4,000 to help pay for the chemotherapy treatments Mink claimed her insurance wouldn't cover.
"People that give the shirts off their backs, gave their last $20 to you to help you because they truly believed that you had something and all along you didn't," said Wasicek.
It was at one of those benefits that Wasicek's mother, Brenda Seal, became suspicious after watching Mink on the dance floor.
"Somebody who is supposed to be in so much pain and have cancer in her knee, and you're out there dancing? I'm like get for real," said Seal.
The next day, Wasicek said she checked with Mink's insurance and discovered it did in fact cover cancer treatment. Wasicek said she then called the phone number on one of Mink's hospital receipts. She said nobody there heard of Misty Mink and realized the receipt was fake -- along with Mink's cancer diagnosis.
"I was fuming. When I went to go pick her back up from MD Anderson, we got back to my apartment and that's when everything hit the fan," said Wasicek. "I just think she's a criminal, a career criminal. Her record shows it what kind of person she is."
Wasicek said she didn't know it at the time, but according to court records, Mink has a long criminal history of deception. From 2000-2006, Mink was charged with five separate crimes, including theft by check and forgery.
In connection to these most recent allegations, Mink was arrested and charged with theft property greater than $1,500 but less than $20,000. She is being held in the Montgomery County Jail on a $75,000 bond. Her next court date is Aug. 20.
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