SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Charles Embleton first told his wife and his family he had pancreatic cancer last year.
His church and Papa's Pizza Parlor started hosting fundraisers for Embleton, his wife and four children. His wife started a blog championing his cause. Donors opened their hearts - and wallets.
But when Papa's Pizza Parlor found out Embleton had no medical proof he had cancer, they contacted police.
Police arrested Embleton this week on accusations of theft by deception. He faces arraignment this week.
Officers said Embleton got at least $5,000.
Embleton would not say to KVAL News whether or not he has or had cancer.
"I don't really know how to respond to that," he said.
"All of us make mistakes, every single one of us, and unfortunately not all of our mistakes get the chance to be publicized, like this one gets to be," he said.
"And it sucks becuase the ones that suffer the most are my beautiful family and my wife," Embleton added. "Yeah, I've made mistakes in my life but who hasn't, some are more costly, mine seemed to be very costly to the people involved."
His wife told KVAL News she was never present to hear a doctor diagnose her husband with cancer.
"We have 4 kids, so I'd usually watch them or it just never worked out to where I was able to go to the doctors with him," said his wife, Kelly. She said they couldn't afford to get his medical records.
"When we went to request our mjedical records, it costs money and we don't have money," she said.
"I'm sorry," she said, "and truly if I knew, it's not like I wouldn't have stopped it at some point. The truth is he did need help, so I'm grateful for the help."