TOWSON, Md., June 16 (UPI) -- A Baltimore-area woman was jailed immediately after she admitted she falsely claimed to have terminal cancer to get money.
Dina Perouty-Leone, 37, pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony theft, The Baltimore Sun reported. She faces as much as 15 years in prison when she is sentenced Aug. 31.
Perouty-Leone engaged in an "elaborate scheme to obtain money from her friends to fund her lifestyle and not because of an illness," Assistant State's Attorney Adam Lippe said.
Jennifer Lasek, a former classmate at Dundalk High School, said she found Perouty-Leone's lies easy to believe because she was "sweet and pleasant." Lasek said she now finds them hard to forgive.
Lasek, married to Bucky Lasek, a nationally ranked skateboarder, said she and her husband treated Perouty-Leone and her family to a trip to their home in Encinitas, Calif., last year. She said Perouty-Leone shaved her head to mimic the hair loss from chemotherapy.
Prosecutors say Perouty-Leone has a history of fraud. Her real estate license was revoked three years ago after she was convicted of defrauding homeowners who made their mortgage payments to her.
In January, she claimed she had been forced into the cancer scam by an abusive husband. She filed criminal charges, but the case was dropped.