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Local News

August 16, 2013

Woman charged in alleged cancer victim scam

DUNCAN —  Authorities issued an arrest warrant Friday for a woman accused of scamming Duncan and Marlow residents and businesses for donations by falsely claiming she had cancer and needed money for surgery.

 The warrant was issued shortly after prosecutors charged Melissa Dawn Redwine, 29, with a felony count of operating by false pretenses for a benevolent purpose.

 She allegedly bilked more than $1,300 in the scam, which included donated meals, pizzas and products from restaurants and stores in Duncan and Marlow and two free rounds of golf at the Marlow Golf Course.

 Redwine has numerous previous convictions, including six felony counts of forgery in 2010 and larceny of merchandise from a retailer in March 2012. She was sentenced each time to five years in prison.

Because of the previous convictions, she could face up to life in prison if convicted of the current charge.

 According to an affidavit by a Duncan Police Department investigator, the alleged scam took place this past June and later unraveled when Redwine admitted the lies to her probation and parole office.

 Several people and businesses in Duncan donated money or items for a “777 Poker Run,” an event sponsored by the 777 Lounge purportedly to help Redwine pay for pancreatic cancer surgery, the affidavit says.

 Redwine had been working at the lounge even though it was prohibited under terms of her probation.

Police said Allen Byrom, the owner of Coache’s Corner, produced $1,023 worth of custom T-shirts for a poker run benefit for Missy Redwine’s pancreatic surgery. He said he was paid $180 in cash as a down payment for the shirts on June 11 when he took the order.

 He said he later found out when the bill went unpaid that the event was a scam and Redwine did not have cancer.

 Linda Burton, the owner of Linda and Sarah’s Carpet, said she was approached by two women and a small child. One of the women had a shaved head and said she needed surgry for pancreatic surgery.

 Burton told police she made a $50 check out payable to the 777 Lounge.

 An employee at Stockman’s reported a similar incident and that store donated a pair of flip-flops.

Other businesses in Duncan that donated items included Pizza Hut, Pizza-N-Stuff, the Honda Shop, Napoli’s and Journey Custom Cycles. Patio Casa in Marlow donated a purse and Windriver Harley Davidson in Lawton donated T-shirts and suffed bears.

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