Woman indicted, accused of raising more than $16,000 for non-existent dying child

A woman has been indicted in Washington County after she was accused of using an online scam to raise money for a fictitious dying boy.

Frankie Louise Yates, 63, of Springfield is charged with theft by deception of more than $10,000, according to a news release from the office of Attorney General Jack Conway.

A complaint was made to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office last month from someone saying Yates was asking online for money and gifts for a terminally sick boy, according to the news release.

An investigation by the sheriff’s office and the Department of Criminal Investigations found that the boy did not exist, according to the news release.

The investigation also indicated that more than $16,000 worth of toys, books and gift cards had been given to Yates over a three to five year period by more than 70 people across the country, according to the news release.

“Preying on the generosity of others online is an unfortunate and all-too-common scam, but doing so by inventing a story about a dying child is very sad and incredibly disheartening,” Conway said in the new release. “As always I urge Kentucky families to be vigilant of online scams and give wisely.”