Couple charged after allegedly scamming friends and church by pretending child had cancer

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Police say a husband and wife are facing numerous charges after allegedly pretending two children in their care were ill in order to defraud members of a church of more than $650,000.

Durham regional police allege the couple, who are guardians of the two children, made people believe the kids were suffering from serious diseases including cancer.

The force says two members of the church reported the couple to police.

Police say church members gave the family more than $650,000 in cash, rent money, groceries, the purchase of a motor vehicle and other financial support over a two-year span.

A 60-year-old man and 50-year-old woman from Oshawa, Ont., are charged with three counts of fraud over $5,000, three counts of false pretenses over $5,000, and two counts of possession of proceeds of crime over $5,000.

The man has also been charged with assault.