UPDATE: Chalice Zeitner has entered the plea at her arraignment, according to a court spokesperson.
The Arizona Attorney General’s Office has filed charges against a woman who faked cancer to get a late-term abortion.
On May 5, a warrant was issued for the arrest of 29 year-old Chalice Renee Zeitner, who has been charged in Maricopa County Superior Court with several felonies including, fraudulent schemes and artifices, theft, fraudulent schemes and practices, taking the identity of another person or entity (2 counts), and forgery, after allegedly faking a cancer diagnosis in order to get the state to pay for her late-term abortion.
According to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, during March and April of 2010 in Phoenix, Zeitner represented to her obstetrician that she had cancer and her pregnancy put her life in further danger. Zeitner presented information to her doctor that she was suffering from stage IV sarcoma and that she was scheduled to immediately resume treatment in Boston, Massachusetts. She claimed the treatment would include the removal of tumors located in her abdomen and lower spinal area.
On April 8, 2010 a doctor performed the abortion at a Phoenix hospital, when Zeitner was 22-weeks pregnant.
Chalice Renee Zeitner made up a story about having cancer in order to qualify for an abortion while on Arizona’s Medicaid insurance, and forged a doctor’s note to support her claim, according to charging documents, because the state would cover pregnancy terminations under limited circumstance including if the life of the mother is endangered.
According to authorities, after the abortion, information was obtained indicating that the Zeitner falsified medical documents purporting that she had cancer. The physician that was listed by Zeitner as the person treating her for cancer was contacted and he indicated that he never treated Zeitner for cancer nor has he ever met the woman.
On May 8, 2015, Zeitner was taken into custody in Columbia County, Georgia with the assistance of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force. She was using the alias Al Serkez at the time of her arrest.
“The Arizona Attorney General’s Office is rooting out fraud,” said Brnovich. “We will investigate corruption wherever it exists. We appreciate the work of our joint state and federal agencies on this case.”
“This investigation is yet another example of the collaborative efforts between the Office of the Arizona Attorney General, the Office of the Inspector General within Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, and the FBI Phoenix Office,” said Special Agent in Charge Douglas G. Price.
The case will be handled by Assistant Attorney General Scott Blake.