STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) – A former Pennsylvania beauty queen accused of faking leukemia to benefit from fundraisers has been charged with stealing from three more victims.
Twenty-three-year-old Brandi Weaver-Gates, of Pleasant Gap, was arraigned Tuesday on three additional counts each of theft and receiving stolen property.
She’s been jailed since her arrest in August. 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.
Public defender Deb Lux says the former Miss Pennsylvania U.S. International pageant winner is sorry for the thefts and hopes to repay the money. Lux says she’s also going to push Weaver-Gates to get a mental evaluation – not to pursue an insanity defense but to get insight on “why this happened.”