CRIME

Beauty Queen Arrested For Allegedly Faking Cancer For Cash

One fundraising event brought in $14,000, authorities said.

Police arrested a beauty queen on Monday who they say bilked people out of thousands of dollars by convincing them she had cancer.  

Brandi Weaver-Gates, this year's Miss Pennsylvania U.S. International, was arrested and charged with theft by deception and receiving stolen property, according to a news release from the Pennsylvania State Police.

Authorities began investigating after they received an anonymous note saying Weaver-Gates was "faking" cancer, the release said.

The 23-year-old announced in March 2013 that she had been diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Since then, she has held multiple fundraisers to cover costs related to her illness, the release said.
 

The most recent event, called Bingo for Brandi, was held in April and raised $14,000, police said, according to local news outlet WJAC.

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Weaver-Gates made relatives drive her to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, State Police Trooper Thomas Stock told the station. They would sit for hours in the waiting room while Weaver-Gates said she was receiving treatment in another part of the hospital.

Weaver-Gates gave police a copy of a bill from Johns Hopkins, but authorities said it turned out to be fake. 

Weaver-Gates does not have an attorney listed, according to an employee at the Centre County Correctional Facility, where Weaver-Gates is being held.

Butler’s Beauties, which runs Miss Pennsylvania U.S. International, said in a statement that Weaver-Gates did not live up to the expectations the organization has for its title holders.

"We at Butler’s Beauties are saddened to hear of the news of Miss Brandy Weaver-Gates," the statement said. "We were also led to believe that she was dealing with this horrible disease and stood by her as she struggled being a beauty queen and a cancer patient."

"Butler’s Beauties believes that with a crown and sash you can accomplish many great things as a role model, spokesmodel and community leader as a beauty pageant queen," the statement continued. "When you deceive the public and take people’s money that is under the pretense of fraud, we will not tolerate those actions."

Butler's Beauties said Weaver-Gates has been stripped of her title and will be expected to turn in her crown and sash "upon her release from being detained."