updated 8/10/2009 9:13:13 PM ET 2009-08-11T01:13:13

A mother of six from Ohio has pleaded guilty to conning friends and family out of more than $800,000 by claiming her husband suffered from cancer.

Thirty-year-old Melanie Chen of Columbus pleaded guilty Monday to one count of theft. One count of receiving stolen property was dismissed.

Chen originally pleaded not guilty to both charges. She fled to Utah after being indicted in March and was apprehended about a month later. Her husband, 38-year-old Phylip Chen, has pleaded not guilty to both charges. His trial is scheduled for Aug. 19.

Melanie Chen faces up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Her attorney, Shawn Dominy, says Chen is relieved to have this phase of the case completed and wants closure.

Authorities say the couple solicited money from July 2005 to August 2008, claiming they could not afford medical expenses.

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