Former beauty queen gets prison for fake cancer scams
BELLEFONTE, Pa. — A former Pennsylvania beauty queen who faked having leukemia to benefit from fundraisers has been sentenced to two to four years in prison.
WJAC-TV reports a judge sentenced 24-year-old Brandi Weaver-Gates on Tuesday. She pleaded guilty last month to several theft-related charges. She told a judge then that she faked the illness to get more attention from her family.
Weaver-Gates has been jailed since her arrest in August, and that time will be credited toward her sentence.
Authorities believe she conned at least 165 people into donating nearly $30,000 through a bingo event in April and other fundraisers since August 2013.
Weaver-Gates is a former Miss Pennsylvania U.S. International pageant winner.
She must repay the money and spend five years on probation.