Cleveland police have set up a phone line as part of an investigation into the wife of a Cleveland police officer who allegedly scammed people out of money, claiming to be pregnant and to have cancer.
Police say Dawn Brown is suspected of soliciting donations via social media. Her husband, now retired Cleveland police officer Ken Brown, is also under investigation. Brown could face charges such as fraud and theft, according to Cleveland Police Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia. The case will be forwarded to the grand jury to decide.
“You’re scamming people who really don’t deserve that because these are people who are trying to do something nice for her and she’s taking advantage," Sgt. Ciaccia said.
Investigators are still gathering evidence pertaining to her medical records and the investigation remains ongoing.
Hospitals in the area previously warned patients that Brown might try to take an infant from a maternity ward. A ‘be on the lookout’ flyer with Dawn’s picture was posted at Fairview Hospital earlier this month.
According to those who met Dawn through a breast cancer support group on Facebook, Dawn initially stated she would give birth in mid-December. However, that due date was repeatedly pushed back.
Jennifer Pace, a woman who was part of Dawn's online support group, previously told News 5 she and others began noticing inconsistencies in Dawn's stories about a month ago.
"She was talking about carrying triplets back in 2016. Then she talked about carrying twins. Now it’s one baby," she said.
All the while, friends and family sought donations for the couple.
The Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association even hosted a blood and donation drive for the couple in January. That’s about the same time the internal investigation started.
A GoFundMe page dedicated to the couple’s plight garnered more than $700 before it was removed. Dawn’s social media profile has also been deactivated.
Police are still working to identify victims of this alleged scam. If you think you are a victim of this scam and believe you financially contributed to accounts on behalf of Dawn Brown, or if you have any information regarding with case, contact the Division of Police at 216-623-5346.