Lacy Johnson was a well-liked young woman. Buddies and coworkers said she made a good first impression, describing her as sweet, outgoing, and with your life.
Today some of those same people would like to find her in jail.
When Beth LaMure hired Johnson to be her personal assistant, she thought Johnson had been charming.
Rabbi Mark Sobel knew Johnson since she was young girl. He has fond memories of her family welcoming him to Forehead Beth Emet.
“We thought we were like extended family, ” Sobel stated.
Britanny Lawless came to know Johnson through her longtime friend who was courting Johnson. Lawless says Johnson instantly became part of their group.
“We reliable this person she was a section of our lives. She was a friend, ” Lawless said.
But Johnson soon became a good friend with some very bad luck.
“It was one series of unfortunate occasions after the next, ” Lawless clarifies.
Simply several months into their friendship, Lawless stated Johnson told her that her father died, her brother died, her roommates killed themselves, and her cat died.
LaMure also recalled getting an email from Johnson explaining that will her brother had decided to “end his life. ”
Then Johnson revealed she was sick.
“Boom! All of a sudden at this point she’s dying” Lawless said, including that Johnson claimed to have both a tumor and Stage 4 breast cancer.
Johnson also told LaMure she had breast cancer.
These friends say the 34-year-old San Fernando Valley native took advantage of their sympathy.
“There’s not really a person in the world who has not already been touched by cancer “Sobel stated, adding the temple recently dropped a member to cancer and had been sensitive to the subject.
But Johnson needed more than compassion. She needed cash, they say.
Members of the Temple Beth Emet congregation gave $6, 000 to get Johnson’s cancer treatment. Lawless plus her husband collected $35, 500.
“She said, ‘Can I have money to get better? I’m dying. I need this cash to get better. ’ No good person will probably say no to that, ” Lawless said.
But now these same people say lacy humiliated to them. They say Johnson doesn’t have malignancy – and she didn’t need therapy.
“She completely screwed us over” Lawless said.
Over the past three years, NBC4 has voiced with people across the country that had personal relationships with Johnson – and everything have similar claims.
The Texas mother and father of her one time fiancé state they gave Johnson $9, 500. A woman from Santa Clarita which considered herself Johnson’s godmother gave her $30, 000. And law enforcement in Los Gatos confirm an ex employer gave Johnson in excess of one-hundred dollar, 000.
But despite all these claims, not really a single fraud charge has been brought against Johnson.
“I really don’t know if she has cancer” said Computer chip Pacheco, Johnson’s attorney.
Pacheco, a former La councilman says at this point those claims are just rumors.
“If the DA or the police department, who have been investigating this for over four years, materializes which includes charges. then we will confront individuals, ” Pacheco said.
Pacheco is currently defending Johnson in a criminal case arising from separate accusations made by LaMure advanced micro devices the others. LaMure says she had been “gutted” when Johnson, her personal assistant, told her she had malignancy and was “shocked” when she realized Johnson stole from her.
Through the witness stand, LaMure testifies, “I got chills and thought, oh yea my gosh, could she did this? ”
Johnson has pleaded simple to charges that include grand fraud and residential burglary. The case remains ongoing.
Outside the courthouse, Pacheco repeatedly criticizes the investigation and the work from the lead investigator
“There seems to be a lot of venom in the process, so I do believe she is on a mission, ” he stated, referring to a veteran LAPD Detective Nadine Hernandez.
When asked by Pacheco throughout a cross-examination in court if the investigation was ongoing, Hernandez replied, “There are charges that are coming out with this case that have nothing to do with the initial burglary investigation but have to do with multiple counts of fraud by Ms. Johnson. ”
“(There are) Many cases of Ms. Johnson telling people she had cancer plus taking tens of thousands of dollars from them and it also not being true. ”
While the LAPD confirms to NBC4 the investigation is ongoing, a group of self-proclaimed sufferers have taken to the web to warn others.
When Lawless discovered the website, she said she cried, but that will in some way there was comfort.
“In an unusual way we felt solace in that we knew that we weren’t the only ones that kind of got covered up in this story, ” Lawless said.
With her savings gone, Lawless would like to see her former closest friend in jail.
“You know you messed with good people, ” she says of Johnson. “It’s not ok for you to mess with people. ”
Lawless says the experience has not made her cynical, and he still believes many people are good, but there is a hard session about giving money to people she thinks she knows.
Back at Forehead Beth Emet, Sobel tries to heal his congregation.
“People are now reluctant to give cause they want to make sure they can trust us, ” Sobel said, including that he will “forgive, but won’t forget” Johnson.
If anyone has information or even experience relating to these claims, call the police department.