CBSN

Majoring In Deceit?

Cancer scam health money
CBS/AP
A Ball State University student shaved her head and pretended to be deaf to convince people she had cancer and get them to give her money, prosecutors said.

Brookelyn Walters, 24, of Culver, is charged with forgery and theft and could get up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Her lawyer, Jay T. Hirschauer, said Walters has repaid the money and is cooperating with authorities.

Prosecutors allege Walters faked having cancer since 2000, forging letters from doctors and starting a Web site to raise donations to pay for treatment she didn't actually need.

It's unclear how much money Walters received. The two theft charges refer to $676 for services of an interpreter the university provided after Walters convinced officials she was deaf and $1,000 donated by Kappa Delta sorority and Delta Chi fraternity.

University officials grew suspicious after problems arose stemming from Walters' request for the interpreter, said Richard Harris, director of Ball State's disability services.

Walters left school in May when university police began investigating. She had completed classes toward a special education major and hopes to work with deaf children, Hirschauer said.