Ann Crall: Cancer-faking Lakewood cop's wife pleads guilty to fraud, could get 15 years

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Jefferson County District Attorney's Office release:

Ann Crall Pleads Guilty to Theft and Charitable Fraud of $60,000 in Donations

Ann Crall, 31, appeared in Jefferson County court today and pled guilty to Theft, a class three felony, and Charitable Fraud, a class five felony.

The Highlands Ranch woman was indicted in September for taking almost $60,000 from unsuspecting donors under the pretense that she had cancer.

Crall began telling people that she had been diagnosed with cancer in the fall of 2005 and that she was beginning treatment. There is no evidence that she ever had cancer.

Over the next four years she continued the pretense while accepting charitable contributions. Friends, neighbors, church members and many of her husband's co-workers gave money, time and food to help the Cralls.

Crall's husband worked for the Lakewood Police Department. Employees of the department, as well as other law enforcement agencies, made contributions to help with what they believed to be cancer treatments for Ann Crall and the family's financial difficulties.

Between January 2006 and December 2008 there were many fundraising efforts on her behalf. More than 1,000 donations were made to assist the Crall family during this time.

Sentencing has been set for April 28 at 8:00. Crall could potentially be sentenced to a maximum of 15 years in prison.

Original item, 8:20 a.m. September 2: Suddenly, people allegedly pretending to have cancer for personal gain are everywhere. Hot on the heels of the jail sentence leveled against admitted cancer-faking hottie Tausha Marsh, we learn about a grand jury indictment against Ann Crall, who's said to have collected nearly $60,000 for a bogus illness.

The capper? Many of the donors were Lakewood police officers -- and colleagues of Crall's husband.

According to Lakewood Police Department spokesman Steve Davis, Crall's husband, Rich Crall, has been on administrative leave "as a precaution -- a procedure we wanted to follow until this whole investigation from the grand jury's perspective ended. Which it has, and they chose not to indict him or charge him."

The natural assumption: Rich was duped like everyone else.

The narrative section of the Ann Crall indictment is explicit about her health, stating that she "has never been diagnosed with cancer or received treatment for cancer." Nonetheless, she told her husband and others during the fall of 2005 that she had been diagnosed, and kept up this apparent ruse for the better part of five years.

Why? "In reality," the indictment says, "Ann Crall did have an addiction to prescription drugs and her need to fund this problem may have been one of the reasons why Ann Crall failed to tell anyone that her claim to have cancer was false."

Crall didn't deem cops off-limits. The indictment notes that "members of the Lakewood Police Department as well as friends, neighbors, members of their church, parents of children who attended school with the Crall children and many others gave money, time, food, etc. to the Cralls in order to help the Cralls through the difficult time they were having with Ann Crall's cancer," which had allegedly reached stage IV.

To that end, various big-hearted folks staged fundraisers in 2006 and 2007 to defray medical costs supposedly not covered by insurance: a pig roast, a benefit poker night, and even gun cleanings, with the proceeds earmarked for the Cralls. Plus, the indictment maintains, "many employees from the Lakewood Police Department had money directly deposited into the Crall's account on an every other week basis."

According to the document, the contributions kept coming until January 2009, when the Cralls "received a payment from the Lakewood Police Employee Assistance Foundation based upon the belief that the Crall's were still having financial problems due to payments for Ann's 'cancer' treatments." But doubts had begun to surface. Around this period, Rich was asked to submit proof that Ann had cancer, and she responded with a letter supposedly from the Colorado Rocky Mountain Cancer Clinic that was believable enough to prompt another $2,000 payment. But this past March, the letter was identified as phony.

The LPD's Davis can't comment on the investigation itself, since it was conducted by the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office and the grand jury, not his department. As for the mood of the officers there, "it's not so much a feeling of anger, but one of disappointment," he says. "A lot of people feel very hurt that they donated their time and money for that cause, only to find out that it would appear there was no need for those donations."

In regard to Rich's future with the LPD, Davis says a decision is expected soon about either reinstating him or "starting an internal investigation with our internal affairs section, to see if administrative policies and procedures were violated in any way." Lakewood's chief of police and other senior staff will make the call on that.

In the meantime, plenty of officers -- presumably Rich Crall among them -- currently feel sicker than it's believed Ann Crall ever was.

Page down to read the release about Crall from the Jeffco district attorney's office:

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts