Former Beauty Queen Sentenced to Prison for Faking Cancer
Brandi Lee Weaver-Gates, a former Pennsylvania beauty queen, lied about having cancer and faked going through chemotherapy to scam people out of money.
On Tuesday a judge sentenced her to two to four years in prison, five years probation. She was ordered to repay the money.
Weaver-Gates pretended to have leukemia to raise about $30,000 from hoax fundraisers, local NBC affiliate WJAC-TV reported Tuesday.
“Many, many people have been affected by cancer and when someone takes advantage of that to make money as fraud in a calculated and elaborate way, it is incomprehensible,” prosecutor Stacy Parks Miller told the Centre Daily Times last month when the former Miss Pennsylvania U.S. International pageant winner pleaded guilty.
Weaver-Gates faked cancer to garner more attention—namely from her family members, who didn’t know the truth, she told a judge.
Weaver-Gates had her family and friends take her to Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore for fake cancer treatments, WHP-TV reported in 2015.
“Her sister would have to stay on the first floor while Ms. Weaver-Gates would go up to the second floor and allegedly receive her cancer treatments for anywhere from six to eight hours,” police spokesman Thomas Stock said.
Officials first started investigating Weaver-Gates after they received an anonymous tip saying she couldn’t recall the names of any of her doctors.
“She’s liberated from the lies she’s been living. She’s truly sorry,” Weaver-Gates’ lawyer said, reported the Centre Daily Times in August 2015. “She asks for forgiveness, although she understands many won’t find it in their hearts to do so.”
She has been in jail since August 2015, which will count toward her sentence.