Martinsburg man charged after admitting he lied about having cancer

May 22, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A Martinsburg man is accused of faking having terminal cancer after a benefit for him raised more than $4,200, according to court documents.

Steven Lee Mohn, 38, of Opal Court, was arraigned Tuesday on one count of false pretenses by Berkeley County Magistrate Harry L. Snow, according to court documents.

The benefit, a Poker Run featuring live music, free food, games, a 50/50 raffle and door prizes, raised $4,260 in contributions, records stated.

The event was held May 6 at Shipwrecked Bar & Grill near Martinsburg, according to the business’ website.

According to a complaint filed by West Virginia State Police Cpl. J.M. Walker, Mohn claimed to only have 12 to 18 months to live after developing cancer in lymph nodes in his pelvis, chest and neck. He also claimed that the disease progressed to stage III and metastasized to his lungs and kidneys, court documents state.


Mohn’s alleged fabrication was uncovered after a member of Crossbonz Band asked the defendant to provide him a diagnostic letter from the hospital regarding his illness for tax purposes, according to court documents.

The band member told police that on May 4 Mohn provided him with a letter in email format while he was performing at another club, documents state.

But “after he reviewed the letter he felt it was suspicious and when he contacted Johns Hopkins (Hospital) at a later date he learned the email was a fraud,” Walker said in court documents.

The band member told police that Mohn admitted to him on May 8 in a telephone conversation that the email had actually was sent by him and not the hospital and that he did not have cancer as he had claimed, according to court records.

The band member also provided police with a copy of a mobile text message he received on May 9 from Mohn that indicated he was “sorry for what he did and he knew there was no way to make it right,” according to court documents.

Walker indicated in his complaint that he was told those involved in organizing the benefit knew nothing about the fraud.

The alleged fraud was reported by a woman who told police that Mohn first told her on April 3 that he was sick, and she then enlisted the help of another woman in planning and promoting the motorcycle event.

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