28-year-old Kristopher Cook is being charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000 and is accused of raising more than $7,500 under false pretenses that he was suffering from brain cancer.
Credits: Brendan Miller/Special to the Calgary Sun/QMI Agency
CALGARY — The fraud suspect wanted for allegedly faking cancer to scam a fundraiser out of thousands of dollars arrived back in Calgary Saturday to be formally charged.
Kristopher Nicholas Cook, 28, who was wanted on a warrant for fraud, was arrested Tuesday in Victoria after police in Calgary were tipped off to his location and informed their counterparts in that city.
He returned to Calgary on a charter plane Saturday afternoon and was taken by Alberta sheriffs to Calgary police to be processed on the warrant.
Cook faces two counts of fraud over $5,000 and the accusation of raising more than $7,500 under false pretenses at a July 8, 2011, benefit held at Calgary's Broken City bar.
The fundraiser called "Kristopher C's Cancer Smasher Benefit Bash" was put on by members of the local music scene who wanted to help raise money for Cook to treat his brain cancer he allegedly told them he had.
Insp. Paul Stacey said it was a success story for police to be able to track down their suspect and have him arrested in Victoria.
"Obviously it caught the public's eye and it's one of those that undermines the true victims of cancer and the like and shakes people's faith," he said.
Friends and organizers of the benefit became skeptical and suspicious and wondered whether the man had been diagnosed with the illness at all. Some said he wouldn't let anyone accompany him to medical appointments and some reported seeing him with a new MacBook Pro the day after the event.
A fraud investigator previously told QMI Agency there was no trace of the suspect being a patient at a local hospital.
Cook also allegedly claimed to have had a sister who died of the same cancer he had, but his dad confirmed to QMI his son had no siblings.
Police launched an investigation and eventually issued the warrant.
Friends and organizers of the event have applauded police's efforts to investigate Cook and track him down, and give credit to the people who spread the story over social media.
The case has been likened to one in Ontario where Ashley Kirilow received 10 months house arrest and 100 hours community service for shaving her head and lying about having the disease in order to solicit donations and hold fundraising events.