Miss Pennsylvania has been stripped of her title after an investigation found the 23-year-old faked cancer in order to raise thousands of dollars — that she then kept for herself.
Brandi Weaver-Gates conned family, friends and innocent well-wishers into believing she was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in March 2013 in which fundraisers were set up to “help” her — including a bingo fundraiser which yieled $14,000.
Pageant organizer Butler’s Beauties released a statement condemning Weaver-Gates’ conniving deception.
“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,” the statement read. “We at Butler’s Beauties believe 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 pageant organizer said in a statement. “When you deceive the public and take people’s money that is under the pretense of fraud, we will not tolerate those actions.”
Weaver-Gates, who was crowned last April, will be forced to give back her crown and sash once she is out of jail.
“When I was first diagnosed, I kept it to myself for a while; I didn’t know how to tell my family and even though they were there through it all, it still feels like you battling it alone, because they don’t understand,” Weaver-Gates told the Centre County Gazette in 2014.
Weaver-Gates made her family drive her to the hospital and have them sit in the waiting room for hours while she received “treatments.” While the pageant queen said she was being treated at different facilities to “numerous people”, the investigation revealed she was never treated. Weaver-Gates went as far as showing investigators a hospital bill that turned out to be fake.
After her diagnosis, Weaver-Gates set up charity events for herself, allegedly pocketing the cash received. She even allegedly shaved her head to keep up with her scheme, but many, including State Trooper Thomas Stock, were not buying it.
“There were some inconsistencies, such as Ms. Weaver-Gates’s hair was always there and never falling out, she did not know the name of her doctors, and other things like that,” Stock told WJAC.
Pennsylvania State Police looked into Weaver-Gates’ corruption after receiving an anonymous tip that accused her of “faking” cancer. She was arrested on Tuesday.
Weaver-Gates was charged with theft by deception and receiving stolen property. She is being held on $150,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 19.