Man pleads guilty in elaborate cancer scam after fiancee turns him in to police

Posted at 7:20 PM, Oct 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-18 21:20:02-04

OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma man who pretended to have cancer and orchestrated an elaborate fundraising scheme has pleaded guilty and paid restitution to his victims.

Al Reynolds was arrested and charged in April of 2017.

Detectives with the Oklahoma City Police Department white collar crimes division spent months investigating Reynolds for preying on the sympathy of church members and raising tens of thousands of dollars for cancer he didn't have.

Reynolds said he had suffered from several bouts of leukemia.

He's never had cancer.

"This is what he does. He preys on people with money or Christian women or people who are compassionate and caring and giving," said Reynolds' fiancee Tracey LaValle who turned him into police. "He's very charismatic."

Reynolds appeared before Judge Cindy Truong in Oklahoma County District Court Wednesday.

"This defendant just defrauded good-hearted people who were very benevolent and loving and just wanted to help someone they didn't even know who they thought had cancer," said District Attorney David Prater at the time Reynolds was charged.

Reynolds pleaded guilty to five felony counts of obtaining money by deception and one computer crime.

He did a blind plea which means he pleaded guilty without a deal from the district attorney's office.

Reynolds admitted his crime to the court.

He faces a maximum of fifty years behind bars for his role in the scheme.

His attorney, Keegan Kelley Harroz, is asking the court for a deferred sentence and no time in prison.

"All I can really say is he [pleaded] guilty because he is guilty and he is very remorseful for the events that did happen that did lead to this," Harroz said. "However he has done everything in his power to make sure everyone will be reimbursed."

Reynolds has paid the district attorney's office $30,441, which is the amount of money detectives could prove he stole from his victims.

Judge Truong will decide his fate.

Reynolds' sentencing is set for January 9.