PHOENIX (Reuters) - An Arizona woman was charged with fraud and identity theft after faking cancer to get the state to pay for her late-term abortion five years ago, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
Chalice Renee Zeitner, 29, also faces one count each of felony theft and forgery stemming from the scheme in Phoenix between March and 2010, according to a statement from the state Attorney General’s Office.
State prosecutors accused Zeitner of falsely telling her obstetrician that she had been diagnosed with cancer and that her pregnancy further endangered her life.
Prosecutors said she provided information indicating she had stage IV sarcoma and that she was to continue treatment in Boston that would include removing tumors in her abdomen and lower spine.
Zeitner, who was enrolled in Arizona’s Medicaid system, received an abortion at a Phoenix hospital on April 2010. The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System covers the procedure if the mother’s life is believed to be in jeopardy.
Prosecutors said Zeitner falsified documents indicating she had cancer and that she had listed the name of a doctor who had never met or treated her.
She was charged May 5 and arrested three days later by authorities in Columbia County, Georgia, where she had been living under an assumed name, prosecutors said.
It was not clear on Tuesday whether Zeitner had an attorney.
Editing by Curtis Skinner and Toby Chopra