Cancer Scam Woman Asks Judge To Let Her Out Of Jail

July 13, 2012


A Molino woman convicted of faking a cancer diagnosis has asked a judge to let her out of jail, but the judge said no.

In early May, Sonja Luker was sentenced by Judge Joel Boles to 364 days in jail to be followed by 18 months probation and 200 hours of community service.

Luker’s letter to Judge Boles asked that he consider letting her out of the Escambia County Jail due to the conditions at the jail, the fact that restitution and court costs in the case were paid, and the fact that she had never been in trouble before, Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille said. The letter also raised health issues, her trouble-free record behind bars and pointed out that she is an inmate worker.

Marcille said Luker also asked that Boels sentence her to community control, plus any additional probation that the judge might desire, when letting her out from behind bars.

Boles denied Luker’s request on the same date it was filed.

Back in March, Sonja Luker pleaded no contest to a felony fraud charge; a previous grand theft charge against her was dropped in May 2011. Charges were dropped against her husband, Gerald “Chris” Luker after he made restitution to each identifiable victim and made a donation to the American Cancer Society.

According to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, numerous fundraisers were held between May 2004 and October 2010 that raised over $19,000. Sheriff’s investigators found that about $14,000 was used in 2009 to avoid foreclosure on their home in the 4700 block of Pine Circle Drive and about $4,000 in cash was used by Chris Luker to purchase a 1997 Harley motorcycle, according to an arrest report.

Chris Luker provided the funds to make restitution to those  that donated to the “Sonja Luker Kickin Cancer Fund” and checks were mailed to victims in February. Victims that made donations by check received the full amount of the original donation.

By tracing bank deposits, prosecutors found $8,506.81 in donations that were made in cash by unknown donors to Sonja Luker. Chris Luker agreed to make an equal donation of $8,506.81 to the American Cancer Society “with the intent of the original donors to support the cure for cancer”, according to a letter that known victims received from the State Attorney’s Office.

Under the plea agreement, Chris Luker will be unable to claim a tax deduction for his donation to the American Cancer Society. Clerk of the Court records do not indicate that Sonja Luker paid any restitution, just $518 in court costs.

Pictured inset: Sonja Luker’s mugshot after she was booked into the Escambia County Jail in May. Pictured top: Sonja and Chris Luker (in black shirts) are seen in a 2009 photo from a motorcycle ride fundraiser that benefited her alleged fight against cancer. file photo, click to enlarge.


46 Responses to “Cancer Scam Woman Asks Judge To Let Her Out Of Jail”

  1. Darius on July 16th, 2012 11:12 pm

    God will probly bless those who came together in his name to help. But it seems that our community don’t really love Sonja unless we can pity her. We should thank God for her good health. That is, if we ever really did love her. Jesus loved her then and loves her now. I think we all are just looking for some-one to hate.
    I forgive her.

  2. Sarah on July 15th, 2012 10:36 pm

    LOL……….Thank you, Judge Boles! I am so happy you are making her serve the entire sentence. Sonja needs to be thankful it’s only 364 days. It should have been longer. She didn’t care when she was lying to everyone and taking all the money they would give her! And what in the world? Did she think it was going to be a great place? I’m glad she’s an inmate worker, good grief, she has never even had a JOB! EVER!!

    You reap what you sow and you are reaping it Sonja! You are in the pokey and are missing your grandbaby being born and I bet you and your cell mates will be singing Christmas carols together this December. Maybe she should think about writing apology letters to all the people she hurt. She has plenty of time! :)

  3. Barbara on July 14th, 2012 11:22 am

    Why did this woman think she deserved to get out early????

  4. lmn on July 14th, 2012 2:56 am

    Cry a bucket. Pay up think about this before you make up such an elaborate lie. Punishment is fitting for the crime.

  5. PP on July 13th, 2012 8:49 pm

    My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer in Feb. Of this year. She also has Alzhiemers. I saw the fear in my families face as we had to hear the word CANCER… But our mother was never afraid, instead she always told us ” God is in control”. I think I could try to understand this better if she would just say “I’m sorry.. I was wrong.” I mean you pled no contest, guilty, whatever. The sentence you received is going to be over in 364 days. The only way a CANCER patient is over CANCER is either remission or DEATH!! Your grandchild will be here soon and no, you may not be there when he is born. But a lot of grandparents will never see their grandchildren born, grow up and all the memories made. So, that said, the law was broken, sentence passed; suck it up and serve your time.

  6. N>R> on July 13th, 2012 8:37 pm








  7. molino res... on July 13th, 2012 7:01 pm

    oh look…now shes got a headfull of hair…..

  8. always bizzie on July 13th, 2012 6:30 pm

    Good for the judge. Thank goodness the judge also knew that cancer patients deserve better care than a lying scammer would give them. I have lost loved ones to this dreadful disease and I would not have wanted them to be around this woman ever. It is a lesson they should not have to teach her. A cancer patient has enough to deal with and this scammer doesn’t deserve the sweat off their brow. She should have to continue hard labor for her crimes and I feel that she deserves more time than she got. Has she learned her lesson? I seriously doubt it but who cares. She will probably lead a lonely life when she is released any way. No one will ever trust her again.

  9. Betty on July 13th, 2012 5:33 pm

    She has no business doing community service with cancer patients,,,They are weak and vulnerable and she would probably find a way to rob them blind!!!let the trash pick up trash on the highway …I know I sound vindictive but I have lost 2 family members to cancer this past year and have another fighting hard. No sympathy for a liar like her.

  10. rivergirl on July 13th, 2012 4:02 pm

    Sandra hit it right on the nose!!! I don’t feel sorry for this woman at all!

  11. Sandra on July 13th, 2012 3:54 pm

    If I were stricken with cancer this would be the last person that I would want helping take care of me. I would rather have someone that truly cares for cancer patients and would have compassion for them. This lady has shown through her statements and actions that she lacks morals and does not care in the least about the health of cancer patients. A better community service for her would be to seperate garbage in an unairconditioned room at the Perdido landfill.

  12. Molino Mom on July 13th, 2012 2:41 pm

    I have been one of the ones watching this as I was always at the ballpark. I was not a person in her “click” but knew of her. When I would ask others about her I was always told a different story. Noone could seem to tell me what form of cancer she had. Every year, I found it funny that she was In “remission” during ball season. I was not suprised when the story broke but do feel sorry for her supposed friends.. Again, as someone on the outside, I think this woman is delusional and am so happy the judge to her no! She deserves more than what she rec’d. I wonder if she actually “knows” anyone with cancer or has a family member or good friend that has it. She can rot.

  13. hahaha on July 13th, 2012 2:05 pm

    since she faked having cancer and shaved her head, that the judge should make her continue to shave that hair from now on

  14. Germ on July 13th, 2012 1:11 pm

    This lady makes me sick, her jail time should’ve been doubled.

  15. ijs on July 13th, 2012 12:53 pm

    i agree with marshall. she should spend her 200 hrs in a cancer ward. she should get more than 200 gours and more than 364 days. thats b/s she needs to live n a cancer ward a her own expense to see how sick some really are. she should have to tell cancer patients how she LIED about cancer 2 contain monetary for her own well being and how her actions were clearly pre meditated, because she shaved her head and everything. This wasen’t thought about in one day. She had to build her nerves to do it. She is considered a PUNK in my eyes. I lost someone very close to me due to cancer. It is physical, mental, and emotional thing to go through.

  16. Marshall on July 13th, 2012 11:22 am

    Judge got that one right on. Her 200 hours should be spent in a Cancer Ward helping those suffering from the disease so that she can see what it is really like. She is one pitiful woman!!!!!

  17. just the facts on July 13th, 2012 11:07 am

    Sorry honey. Your in your stuck and hey on the bright side you may loe a few pounds

  18. Gembeaux on July 13th, 2012 10:27 am

    Hey, Sonja ~ Jail’s not supposed to be nice! That why we have them – for cons and criminals like YOU!

  19. Diane Brissette on July 13th, 2012 10:26 am

    As a breast cancer survivor I am happy the judge did not let her out. This is just disgusting that anyone would fake something like that.

  20. Terri Sanders on July 13th, 2012 10:01 am

    Hmmmm.she looks a whole lot happier when she supposedly “had” cancer!

  21. just wondering on July 13th, 2012 9:15 am

    @David, she preyed upon ppl before and then when she got caught she preyed again about some type of depression etc. Im no longer angry. I grew up with her, lived close to her and love her kids but she does need to serve time. she broke the law. She can fake things well so she needs to learn to fake how much she loves jail. She survived her yrs of pretending to have cancer she can survive 364 days in jail.

  22. Ben Thar on July 13th, 2012 8:54 am

    I’m sorry she’s having so much trouble. Maybe the community can come together and raise funds for her.

  23. mnon on July 13th, 2012 8:50 am

    Hahaha she was ready to ask out after 2 months?! NO Sonja Luker, you sit your big butt in jail doing your time and think about ALL the PAIN you’ve caused your family, your friends, and the children associated with those friends/family. To this day there is not a week that goes by that I don’t have to explain to my little girl what you did and why you’re there… you are scum to have caused that type of mental scar to her, I can only imagine all the other kids lives you’ve affected at the ballpark.

  24. dh on July 13th, 2012 8:00 am

    Looks like Mrs. Luker, again, has a case of “poor, pitiful me”! Only this time, nobody’s buying it!!! Good for the judge!

  25. David Huie Green on July 13th, 2012 7:52 am

    It never hurts to ask, but sometimes the answer is “no”.

    By the way, I’m not sure her request was unreasonable. She doesn’t pose a known threat to others. She is unlikely to prey on others. It costs the state more to keep her in jail than it does to monitor her at home. If people weren’t so mad at her for what she did, they would probably agree to set her free.

    David for objectivity and acceptance

  26. just wondering on July 13th, 2012 7:45 am

    what health issues is she having now? Says the letter raised health issues. Im thinking she wanted to be out to see her grandchild be born. Hate it for her daughter but Sonja is having to deal with the consequence of her actions. It can’t be as hard on her as having to remember which lie she told to who about cancer or learning enough about cancer meds to know what they do to you. She’s been in jail maybe 2 months. 364 days is nothing compared to the yrs she lied to her family, friends and community. Good for you Judge.

  27. hahaha.. KARMA! on July 13th, 2012 7:44 am

    GO JUDGE BOLES!!!! FINALLY a Judge makes the right decision, she should be in jail a lot longer then she was sentenced but at least he’s not letting her get out early.

    She shouldn’t get to see her family early and live her life when REAL cancer patients are taken from their families everyday! She’s one sick individual to even ask for early release.

  28. mary on July 13th, 2012 7:40 am

    OH HELL NO! Too bad the “conditions of the jail” are not up to her “expectations” It was not meant t0 be a vacation!! Good she is a “inmate worker” ..means she isnt just laying around..I agree w/ M on this the judge should have added more time..should have gotten more time to begin with! YEP I live in the community of Molino(Barrineau Park)

  29. just me on July 13th, 2012 7:32 am

    Really, its on here again.I gave them alittle money to and i just dont even care. She done wrong and is in jail now. Why even bring up chris again when there were not any charges againt him. TIRED OF HERERING ABOUT THIS. Get over it.

  30. sue on July 13th, 2012 7:26 am

    All i can say is WOW UNBELIEVABLE

  31. Betty on July 13th, 2012 7:25 am

    What a laugh this gave me..Finally she is getting some karma back..Let her sit in jail for the full time given..I don’t see any remorse from her…I wish she would have got a day in jail for every dollar she stole..then split that time equally between her and her husband..If you do the crime …then do the time…all of it…

  32. jw on July 13th, 2012 7:20 am

    The judge was sooo nice to give her just a year in jail for such a sick morally twisted crime that she figured he might just go ahead and let her out.The judge should have gave her way more time to begin with.

  33. sd on July 13th, 2012 7:16 am

    I lost my husband,and my kids lost their daddy to cancer last Oct. He was 39. For this bitc..,excuse me…woman,and I use the term lightly, to do what she did is just shameful!!! I hope she lives a long and healthy life so she will have to remember every day what a despicable thing she’s done!!! And to her husband,who is just as guilty and should’ve seen the inside of a jail cell as well…I hope the Harley was worth it!!!

  34. ms k on July 13th, 2012 7:00 am

    Her community hours should be worked in a Cancer Center.

  35. WB on July 13th, 2012 6:59 am

    Seems like this woman just likes seeing her name in the news! What an idiot!!She should shut up and do her her time. She should also have to do 365 days taking care of people who are dying of this dreadful disease! She’s lucky I’m not the judge!!!

  36. rivergirl on July 13th, 2012 6:50 am

    This story made my skin crawl! I don’t see how this woman can go back and live among these people who thought they were helping her. This is so sad because there are so many people who struggle with this disease and sometimes can’t get help. My momma struggled with breast cancer then to find out later she also had luekemia. Thank God she she fought and won both diseases. People were great and helped them at this time. It’s people like this woman that can make others have second thoughts about donating to this cause. Thank God the judge didn’t let her out! This woman had no heart at all!!!

  37. jw on July 13th, 2012 6:45 am

    how can people lie and steal over something so serious as having cancer.Where is the fear of the Lord?Id be afraid i would really end up with cancer if i tried to pull off what they did.My concious wouldnt let me.

  38. Jen on July 13th, 2012 6:29 am

    I dont feel this woman has any remorse what so ever in regards to the scam she pulled. Its people like her that make people afraid to give to others in need because in the back of their minds they always worry their donations are not being used correctly or they are being scammed. I know for myself, I have stopped giving anything unless it goes directly to a reputable organization like the American Cancer Society or the Humane Society etc..I never give money directly to individuals. I am just sorry that the laws against doing things like this do not come with more harsh punishment and longer sentencing guidlines.

  39. Mardi on July 13th, 2012 6:28 am

    Thank you Judge Boles for denying her request. My daughter Halee was featured in a story a couple months back about her battle with a rare children’s cancer. As a mother it has been unbearable to watch her suffer the effects of her cancer and the treatment. I can’t imagine a person who would fake something so horrible to benefit themselves. I pray she stays in jail and when she serves her time I pray she has to work with cancer patients to see firsthand what it’s like. For her to complain about the conditions in jail makes me question if she sorry for what she did or just feeling sorry for herself.

  40. Jane on July 13th, 2012 5:43 am

    I’m glad the judge refused to release her. Apparently she doesn’t think rules and laws apply to her.

  41. EJ on July 13th, 2012 4:45 am

    Thanks for the laugh! Felt good t have a little chuckle this am. All seriousness though, what those 2 did is NO laughing matter. I myself find it very hurtful, distasteful, and down right disrespectful to ALL the people who are truely struggling with their own cancer or life long diseases of their own. 364 days in jail just doesn’t seem like enough time.

  42. emjay on July 13th, 2012 4:36 am

    Wow…what nerve! I’ll bet Judge Boles may have had trouble containing himself over that one. Seems to me that she is not remorseful at all and should be thankful she got what little punishment she did, considering the scam went on for _years_. It’s not like she had a brief lapse in judgment and put out a donation jar for a day and misappropriated the funds; this was a lengthy and deliberate act that involved so many people.

  43. jaymomma on July 13th, 2012 1:07 am

    The judge did the right thing. She should stay in jail for a long time. My Momma fought breast cancer and won. I am very lucky to have her today. This woman lied to everyone about having Cancer. She is sick and needs to stay in jail and think about what she has done.
    Good job Judge!!!

  44. huh on July 13th, 2012 1:07 am

    by asking for less time she didnt learn her lesson it seems, she should have thought about that while defrauding the community. While real cancer victims struggle to survive.

  45. M on July 13th, 2012 12:50 am

    He should have added time just for her having nerve to ask.

  46. DJ on July 13th, 2012 12:15 am

    KUDOS to Judge Boles for upholding his decision of 364 days in jail! She sure didn’t consider anyone’s feelings when she scammed them out of their hard earned money for a cause that has never been taken lightly.

Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.