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South Boston cancer fraud suspect pleads innocent

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Jim Smith

BOSTON — Kristen Clougherty was released on personal recognizance last Friday in Suffolk Superior Court after pleading not guilty to two charges of larceny.

The 26-year-old South Boston woman is alleged to have raised thousands of dollars for herself after convincing residents of South Boston and Dorchester that she had ovarian cancer. Last June, a fund-raiser on her behalf at the Old Colony Yacht Club raised nearly $40,000.

An anonymous caller alerted authorities to the alleged scam during the summer as Clougherty was organizing another fund-raiser for herself, a road race in South Boston.

Clougherty was ordered at Friday’s hearing to turn in her passport. Neither she nor her lawyer, Charles Clifford, made any comment to reporters before or after the arraignment.

Although some acquaintances describe Clougherty as an emotionally troubled woman who grew up in a dysfunctional family in the South Boston housing projects, prosecutors describe her as a greedy con artist who spent the funds on cosmetic surgery, trips, fancy restaurants and a new car.

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If convicted, Clougherty faces up to 10 years in prison.

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