Buhl Man Agrees To Plea Deal in Cancer Scam Trial


Lisa and Michael Holley
  • Lisa and Michael Holley

A Buhl man, accused with his wife of an elaborate cancer fundraising scam, has reached a deal with prosecutors where he admitted to one count of aiding and abetting in grand theft by deception.

In August 2012, 54-year-old Michael Holley and his wife Lisa were accused of holding fundraisers, telling neighbors that their daughter had leukemia. In fact, law enforcement said the couple was raising money to pay a lawyer to help them regain custody of their daughter. At the time of their arrest, police also confiscated gift certificates and gift cards that had been donated to the couple from several retailers.

This morning's Twin Falls Times-News reports that Michael Holley entered an Alford Plea, maintaining his innocence but agreeing that prosecutors had enough evidence that they they could convict him at trial. As part of the deal, prosecutors agreed to sentence Michael Holley to probation as long as he is accepted into Twin Falls County's Mental Health Court.

Meanwhile, Lisa Holley is scheduled for a status hearing Monday, Aug. 12.

Police said Lisa Holley faked being pregnant with triplets in order to get money and gift card donations from members of a Buhl church. Orders for mental health examinations on Lisa Holley were filed in March.