Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a Dillsburg woman was sentenced to prison for forcing her young daughter to fake medical conditions.

49-year-old Shelley Noreika received 30 months in prison. Her 5-year-old adoptive daughter was also previously removed from her care.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Noreika told the then-5-year-old to pretend she was having a seizure while Noreika videotaped her. She then emailed the video clip to her daughter’s pediatric neurologist, along with false statements about her daughter’s medical condition, Gurganus said.

On multiple other occasions, Noreika also falsely reported to medical providers that her daughter experienced seizures, when in fact no such seizures occurred, according to Gurganus.

Noreika never witnessed her daughter have an actual seizure on Feb. 4, 2020, or on any other date, he said.

The government and defense recognized that the caregiver’s conduct was consistent with factitious disorder imposed on another, formerly known as munchausen syndrome by proxy, a mental illness in which a caregiver makes up or causes an illness or injury to a person under their care, to gain attention and sympathy for themselves.

The government also pointed out that Noreika may have been acting under a financial motive—she received enhanced Medicare and adoption benefits for taking care of a sick child, as well as sought donations from local organizations and online fundraising efforts under the guise of needing help affording her daughter’s care.

At a previous hearing, Gurganus said the parties agreed the offense involved a loss amount exceeding $95,000 but less than $150,000, which includes costs borne by insurers and the government for the daughter’s unnecessary medical treatment and visits.

“Today’s sentencing sends a strong message that protecting children is a top priority,” said Special Agent in Charge Maureen R. Dixon of the Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Philadelphia Regional Office. “HHS-OIG will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to thoroughly investigate allegations of abuse against children and ensure claims submitted to federal and state programs by caregivers are truthful and accurate. We would like to thank the Pennsylvania State Police and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their partnership and commitment in this investigation.”

Noreika will serve three years of supervised release following incarceration and pay a fine of $500 and restitution of $137,710.86 to the victims of the offense in addition to her 30-month prison sentence.

She still faces related charges from the state, which are pending.

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By Buffy Gunner

Independent Journalist + Business Owner | Lover of all things true crime. Mantra: Only YOU can be YOU. | Los Angeles Born | buffygunner@illicitdeeds.com