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Alleged Calgary cancer-faker nabbed in B.C. 0

Katie Schneider, QMI Agency
Calgary music promoter Kristopher Cook, who is being investigated by police for what friends allege is a fraud that saw them raise thousands of dollars under the belief he was suffering from brain cancer. (Supplied photo)

Calgary music promoter Kristopher Cook, who is being investigated by police for what friends allege is a fraud that saw them raise thousands of dollars under the belief he was suffering from brain cancer. (Supplied photo)

Calgary - 

The man wanted by police for faking brain cancer to collect cash at a local fundraiser has been arrested and charged with fraud.

Kristopher Nicholas Cook, 28, was arrested in Victoria, B.C., Tuesday after Calgary police acting on a tip informed their Victoria counterparts he was in their city.

He faces two counts of fraud over $5,000.

Police have accused Cook of raising more than $7,500 under false pretences, through a benefit held at Calgary's Broken City bar July 8, 2011, to treat cancer friends and family said he never had.

Following the event, attendees became skeptical he was using the funds for cancer treatment, and whether he had been diagnosed with the disease at all. Some reported seeing him with a new Macbook Pro the day after the benefit.

Police launched an investigation, eventually issuing warrants for his arrest.

Const. Martin West, a fraud investigator with Calgary police, previously told QMI Agency the probe included following up on the suspect's claims of treatment and discovering no trace of him being a patient at local hospitals.

Cook had allegedly told friends he had brain cancer, the same type that killed his sister, but his father confirmed to QMI Agency his son didn't have any siblings and made no mention of being ill when he last spoke to him 18 months ago.

News of Cook's arrest was welcome to former friend Lindsay Shedden who helped organize the fundraiser called "Kristopher C's Cancer Smasher Benefit Bash."

"Obviously he is a very sick man who needs help," she said. "Hopefully, this will be a wake-up call and he will be able to get the help he needs."

But she also hopes the punishment still fits the alleged crime, suggesting he complete community service at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre as part of it.

"It is really shocking to find out someone isn't who they said they are, for monetary gain," she said.

"He may have done it for sympathy. I don't know if it was his idea (to raise cash) but he went along with it.

"Our community is really giving and generous — I think everyone is going to be really happy (he was caught)."

She thanked police for taking the matter seriously and gave credit to those who spread the story over social media to family and friends nationwide.

Cook will return to Calgary in the coming days.

katie.schneider@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNKSchneider

 


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