Family and friends of Meaghan Hudson were devastated when they learned that she was suffering from multiple myeloma — a type of cancer that forms in the bone marrow — and had little time to live.

The 25-year-old’s friends immediately rallied around her, shaving their heads in solidarity and getting matching tattoos. Her step-mother, Margaret Hudson, also set up a fundraising website to help with medical expenses, which raised $5,000.

meaghan hudson

Turns out, it was all a lie. Meaghan, who lives in California, successfully tricked her family in Ohio into believing she was ill for more than six months!

An anonymous tip to the police is what unraveled Meaghan’s phony story. When officers investigated, they also discovered that she had not attended San Diego State University like her family believed and did not have a nursing degree or license.

meaghan hudson

Her friends even got matching tattoos to show support.

Hudson issued an apology in August to those who donated to Meaghan’s fundraising site. “I am saddened, embarrassed, and ashamed to have to give you this news,” she wrote. “We have recently learned that Meaghan does not have cancer.”

The statement continues, “She is not sick, even despite her ongoing claims that she does have some type of illness that has simply not been diagnosed…I can’t express to you how very sorry I am that your generosity has been taken advantage of in this situation.”

meaghan hudson

Meaghan (left) with a group of friends.

Hudson and Meaghan’s father also promised to pay everyone back. They believe the stunt was a cry for attention. Meaghan was arrested in January and charged with theft by deception and grand theft. She’s expected in court next week.