An Adelaide woman who used her fake cancer claims to fleece family and friends out of thousands of dollars didn’t care how long those people knew her or how much they loved her, one of her victims says.
Kelly Val Smith on Monday pleaded guilty in the District Court to four counts of deception and one of dishonestly dealing with documents.
The allegations against her included falsely promising millions of dollars to some she deceived, the money supposedly coming from fictitious victims of crime compensation payment.
One of those victims, Michelle Ingley-Smith, said Smith’s case had fractured the family to the point where she didn’t know “if it’s repairable”.
“Her deception and her lies. It didn’t matter how long you knew her or how much you loved her. It didn’t matter to her,” Ms Ingley-Smith told reporters.
“Her story was that she was receiving large amounts of money from a victims of crime compensation claim.
“She had used that as part of her story to us as well as everybody else in order to get money.
“There was cancer involved. Which of course devastated us as a family at the time and she used that also as part of the deception.”
The charges against Smith included telling one victim she would “gift” her $1 million, depriving that woman of the repayment of a debt worth more than $30,000.
She admitted telling Ms Ingley-Smith she would repay a $97,650 debt and to promising her a similar $2 million gift.
Sentencing submissions have been set down for September 17 with Smith’s defence to obtain psychiatric and psychological reports ahead of the next hearing.
Ms Ingley-Smith said Smith’s victims were relieved she had pleaded guilty but said the damage to the family had been done.
“She had long-term relationships with all of us,” she said.
“My husband and I only knew her for 12 years but others knew her for most of their lives.
“We’re talking best friends, almost sister relationships, cousins, family.
“It has divided the family in terrible ways.”