Wallingford man accused of faking cancer, taking $22,000 in fund - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Wallingford man accused of faking cancer, taking $22,000 in fundraising

Posted: Updated:
Tyler Tomer. (Wallingford police photo) Tyler Tomer. (Wallingford police photo)

After months of investigating, police in Wallingford said they arrested a man for faking cancer in order to collect fundraising money.

Tyler William Tomer, 29, who has lived in both Wallingford and Kansas, was arrested for taking $22,000 from people after they held benefits for him, according to police.

Investigators said he claimed to have a rare form of brain cancer that was stage 3.

Police said there have been multiple benefits for Tomer including a golf tournament, a pasta dinner and GoFundMe pages.

"It was a pretty extensive fraudulent scam on his part," said Wallingford Police Lt. Cheryl Bradley.

The fundraising efforts have been going on since last year and happened in both Connecticut and Kansas.

According to police, the pasta dinner was held in on April 15, 2015 and $600 was raised.

Police said they first received a complaint on May 5. The person who made the complaint posted to Facebook that Tomer did not have cancer. That prompted the investigation.

He was also arrested for allegedly driving under the influence last summer, and people started questioning if he was telling the truth.

"His friends and family started to get suspicious based on his activities. He was doing a lot of partying and wasn't acting like an ill person," Lt. Bradley said. 

Tomer is a former Sheehan High School athlete.

The high school was also involved in collecting donations. "They had some basketball games where they were wearing his number in his honor," Lt. Bradley said. 

Matt Thurston said he was one of thousands who donated.

"It was disrespectful to a lot of people, I know a lot of his friends were questioning it," Thurston said. 

Police said the amount reportedly raised could be much more. The arrest warrant said there were fundraisers in Kansas where $30,000 was raised.

When questioned by police, Tomer told them he had cancer and would go to New York City for treatments, but police found no medical records of that.

Police also said he shaved his head and took weight loss pills.

The money raised was deposited into his account, and police found hundreds of purchases at fast food and chain restaurants, bars and other recreational activities.

Police said Tomer told them "he needed money-- and things got out of control."

He was charged with first-degree larceny and first-degree defrauding a public community.

He is being held on a $250,000 bond and scheduled to face a judge in Meriden Superior Court on Feb. 17.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.