A Grovetown woman was charged Monday with allegedly pulling the same cancer con in Columbia County that previously got her jail time in Kentucky, authorities said.
Jessica Pizzuto, 27, has been accused by her co-workers at Invo Behavioral Therapy in Evans of claiming her son had cancer. According to a sheriff’s report, Invo employees Heather Layton and Kimberly Crawford claimed that Pizzuto told them that her son was diagnosed with cancer in May 2021.
“They advised they felt bad for Jessica and her son and bought gift cards, food, and other items for Jessica over time since May,” the report says. “They advised that Invo Behavioral Therapy gave Jessica a free week of PTO [paid time off] totaling to $720 as well.”
But they soon discovered their co-worker was lying when they received an email from an anonymous person stating that Pizzuto previously was arrested for doing a similar thing in Kentucky, where she was prosecuted as “Jessica Krecskay.”
Invo supervisors fired Pizzuto on Jan. 31.
The two employees who opened their hearts to the woman said “there are more employees who donated money and other monetary gifts towards Jessica as well,” the report says.
Layton and Crawford told investigators that they wished to prosecute. Pizzuto was charged with Monday with theft by deception, and she has already been released on bond.
Previous con. In September 2019, WCPO-TV reported that a Kentucky woman named Jessica Krecskay “faked a cancer diagnosis for several years” and was sentenced to 60 days in jail along with five years of probation.
The TV station reported that Krecskay lied to coworkers-turned-friends about having cancer and also lied about her son having cancer.
“This defendant did it out of financial greed,” Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders said.
According to the media report, Krecskay told a group of friends that she was diagnosed with cancer as early as 2013.
“She continued to take advantage of all of us, who are in the medical field for a reason,” said college friend Becky Hobbs.
According to Sanders, Krecskay received just shy of $15,000 in donations between 2015 and 2017. She also allowed coworkers to donate their own vacation days so she could spend time at home with her family.
Krecskay pleaded guilty to theft by deception July 11. Krecskay’s defense attorney argued that she was undergoing treatment for mental health disorders, has no criminal history and is an “excellent candidate for probation.”
When the judge asked Krecskay why she did it, the Edgewood woman was unable to answer through her tears.
“I believe she’s done everything she can to make amends,” her defense attorney said.
The judge ordered Krecskay to pay a $1,000 fine and to pay restitution. This week’s charge in Georgia could revoke her probation and send her to prison.