BUHL • A Buhl woman who was accused, along with her husband, of holding a fraudulent cancer fundraiser has now been accused of seeking financial aid for a faked pregnancy.
Twin Falls County prosecutors have filed an additional charge of grand theft by deception against Lisa Holley in a new case against her.
According to an affidavit filed in 5th District Court, Lisa Holley met with Buhl United Methodist Church pastor Penny Hodges in December 2011, and told Hodges she was pregnant with triplets and was in need of financial assistance.
Lisa Holley, 44, and her husband Michael Holley, 54, deny the charge and maintain Lisa was pregnant and miscarried.
“Whoever made this report on me said I had a fake pregnancy,” Lisa Holley said Friday to the Times-News. “I have a doctor’s statement that I was pregnant and I lost my baby.”
The affidavit alleges Holley of depriving people of $1,435 through deception.
The affidavit states Hodges received a phone call from a woman who identified herself as Holley’s stepmother from Nevada. The woman reportedly asked Hodges to assist Holley, and said the pastor would be repaid.
Hodges said she gave Holley $50 of her own money and has never been repaid, the affidavit states.
In January, the affidavit states, Hodges got a call from a person claiming to be a midwife from St. Luke’s. The person said she was caring for Holley and asked if Hodges or the church could assist her in obtaining items for Holley because she was pregnant with triplets, the affidavit states.
Later that month, the affidavit states, Hodges sent out an email to members of the church and asked for assistance. The affidavit states Hodges was suspicious and also called St. Luke’s, which said it did not have a midwife program.
According to the affidavit, church congregants donated a $100 gift card to Ridley’s Family Markets, $300 toward the purchase of a vehicle and one family donated $500.
Monday, Holley told the Times-News she never received cash or a gift card.
In February, the affidavit states, a man told Hodges he bought a washing machine for $185 and delivered it to Holley’s home. Also in February, a group of women at the church purchased about $300 of new baby items for Holley, the affidavit states.
Then in March, the affidavit states, Holley allegedly called Hodges and said she miscarried and gave the donated items to a friend who either had infants or was currently pregnant.
Holley told the Times-News she donated the baby items she received to local thrift stores.
According to the affadavit, subpoenas to St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center and St. Luke’s Jerome turned up no records at the Jerome hospital, but a pregnancy test at the Twin Falls hospital. A lab technician told police that Holley was not pregnant and said the lab work was done for Holley’s doctor at Family Health Services in Twin Falls, the affadavit states.
Records from FHS reportedly showed Holley was not pregnant during the time she was cared for there, according to the affadavit. A doctor’s note from a March 12 visit reportedly said Holley believed she was pregnant following a test at the Pregnancy Crisis Center.
This is when the lab work from St. Luke’s Magic Valley that later came back negative was completed, the affidavit states.
Monday, Holley said this test was after she miscarried.
According to the affidavit, investigators believe there is no record from between July 2011 and September 2012 from any hospital or Holley’s personal doctor to show that she was ever pregnant with triplets.
Monday, Lisa Holley told the Times-News that police looked at the wrong hospitals and the records she has are from an out-of-town hospital. Holley did not want to say which hospital it was until after her initial court appearance. Holley said police also could have found records through the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
Online court records don’t yet list the date of Holley’s initial court appearance on the new charge, but Holley said she’s scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 7.