Shirley Ann Duncan was given over $1,000 in donations, including housewares, clothes and furniture, thanks to the selfless generosity of a Port Charlotte church when she told them that her four sons were killed in combat overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The church even held a memorial service for the fallen heroes.
Also, she only actually has two sons.
Also, none of her sons were actually dead.
Because she lied.
One of them is in the Army, though. That part is true. So it wasn't all complete bullshit.
In fact, it was her very-much-still-alive son, Nick Collazo, who is currently serving in U.S. Army, that turned Duncan in to the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office when he called them and claimed his mother had defrauded the church with lies about him and his also-alive brother.
Duncan, 49, had been collecting donations from the church after she claimed her four sons were killed in 2010. Truth is, however, that she only has two sons, and only one of them -- Nick -- serves in the military. And, as noted above, still not dead.
Duncan's ruse was quite the elaborate one.
When the church asked her for documents proving her soldier sons were casualties of war, she gave them a fake letter from the Secretary of War informing her that her son was killed August 13, 2010.
The letter seemed legit enough. It even had a signature from Adjutant General J.A. Ulio.
Problem is, Ulio has been dead for 50 years, according to investigators.
When the church asked Duncan for photos of her dead sons to display at their memorial, she gave a real picture of Nick in uniform.
And then she ingeniously printed out three photos of random soldiers she found through Google Images and said those were her other dead sons.
Duncan pled no contest to defrauding the church, and was sentenced to 36 months probation. She was also ordered to pay court costs, plus $100 for the cost of prosecution.
She must also provide a DNA sample to FDLE because she is now a convicted felon.
Duncan must also pay restitution to the church.