A 20-year-old Bettendorf woman has been ordered to pay more than $39,000 in restitution to six parties – including the fundraising platform GoFundMe – Scott County Court documents say.
Earlier, Madison Russo pleaded guilty to first-degree theft, a Class C felony. Someone who is not considered to be a habitual offender who is convicted of a Class C felony can be sentenced to no more than 10 years in prison, along with a fine of at least $1,370 but no more than $13,660 plus a surcharge.
The plea agreement requires Russo to pay victim restitution prior to or at the time of sentencing, which is set for Oct. 20. When someone is ordered to pay restitution, that means they must pay back damage caused to the state and/or victims.
An order to approve restitution, filed July 12, says the Clerk of Court shall accept and hold the payments made toward restitution in trust pending sentencing, court documents say. “The payments shall be held in trust for the individuals and up to the amounts listed below:”
- M. – $500
- S. – $100
- M. – $2,146.72
- Nikki Mitchell Foundation c/o A. – $500
- D. – $50
- GoFundMe – $36,089.07
A complete restitution order will be entered at the time of sentencing, documents say.
False claims in 2022 and 2023
Russo is accused of stealing more than $37,000 between February 2022 and February 2023 from more than 439 donors with false claims that she had acute lymphoblastic leukemia, stage 2 pancreatic cancer and “a tumor the size of a football” that wrapped around her spine, according to law enforcement officials and court documents.