Central City woman pleads guilty to stealing money intended for cancer patient

March 29, 2019

A Central City woman accused of taking funds raised for a child with cancer pleaded guilty to theft in the Somerset County Court of Common Pleas Thursday.

Marcia Kimmel, 36, pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement with Assistant District Attorney Hannah Myers. Myers amended the information, which lists the charges in county court, and lowered the grade of the offense of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received from a third-degree felony to a first-degree misdemeanor. President Judge D. Gregory Geary agreed to the amendment and the withdrawal of the remaining charges.

Kimmel was helping with a benefit drive for Mary Grace Purdy, whose daughter was suffering from cancer, in July 2017. She was taking care of the money raised. Purdy received a check on Feb. 29, 2017, in the amount of $4,337 from Kimmel’s personal account, but the check was returned for insufficient funds.

The family received information online that the benefit drive proceeds exceeded $8,000 and that additional donations were expected. Kimmel told Purdy she could not issue a check for the benefit drive because she no longer had funds in her account.

In October 2017, police filed a “preservation request” for information on Facebook involving Kimmel. Conversation between Kimmel and others indicated that the Purdy family was supposed to receive additional money for the child’s care. Kimmel failed to notify the family of the additional money available, according to court documents.

Kimmel was charged on Dec. 19, 2017, with theft by deception-false impression and theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received, both third-degree felonies, and bad checks, a misdemeanor.

Myers indicated that Kimmel has paid some of the funds back to the family, and the family requested $4,000 in restitution, which was a condition of the plea.

Kimmel is scheduled to be sentenced at 1 p.m. May 28.