Cashing in on compassion?

Geneseo, Illinois Police say they, along with the Henry County State’s Attorney, are investigating investigating a local fundraising operation.

Near the beginning of 2011 Kristin Holzman, a single mother of two small children said she was diagnosed with stage two brain stem glioma, an inoperable form of brain cancer.

After she announced her diagnosis, the community of Geneseo pulled together and held at least five benefits for Holzman.

See the newspaper story promoting a fundraising spaghetti dinner – click here.

The flyer for that benefit is at this link – click here.

See the newspaper story promoting a trivia night fundraiser – click here.

Now the police are looking into those benefits and how the money was spent.

We went to her home and tried to talk with Kristin.

Geneseo Police say they received a complaint that started their investigation.  The complaing questions where some of the money raised at the benefit events is going.

Witnesses said they thought $10,000 was raised for Holzman.

Police say they cannot confirm nor deny whether Kristin Holzman has or ever did have cancer.

Through an online search, we found flyers for several benefits held for Holzman in 2010 including a spaghetti dinner held at First Lutheran church in February, a benefit on May 14th at the Geneseo Moose Lodge as well as a trivia night on April 2nd, also at the Moose Lodge.

Check out the Facebook page dedicated to a Moose Lodge fundraiser for Kristin Holzman – click here.

A Facebook page for Kristin says, “she finished her radiation treatments and had testing done.” Another post on February 22nd says, “the test report was not the good news they were hoping for, the original tumors are still there but “dead” and they detected a gray area that could be the start of another tumor, therefore the doctor is going to give her oral radiation.”

Check out the Friends of Kristin Holzman Facebook page – click here.

After learning of the investigation, we went to Kristin’s house to get her response.

As Kristin came to the door, she immediately asked, “And who are you?”

News 8 reporter Kristy Mergenthal answered with her name, and said, “I’ve got a quick question: We received a few emails that there’s an open investigation for you regarding all the benefits they had when you had cancer.  I didn’t know if you had any response to that or if there was truth to that?”

“Um, I’d like to no comment on that right now,” responded Holzman.

Kristy then questioned her again, “No comment right now?”

Holzman then said, “Yeah, and this is my daughter coming up (driving up outside the house) so would you guys please leave?”

Before leaving Kristy asked Holzman if she was currently ill and she angrily replied, “Um, I’m not going to comment, my daughter is coming in the house good bye.”

As she was beginning to close the door, she was asked one last time if there was anything else she would like to say, she then slammed the door.

While Holzman said her daughter was pulling up outside the car, it was in fact a woman in her forties or fifties.  The woman did not go up to Holzman’s house.

Geneseo police say they are in the very early stages of this investigation.

If you have any information that may help police you are asked to call the Geneseo Police at (309)-944-5141 or Henry County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-227-2324.

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