Man fakes cancer to avoid parole officer

Sept. 21, 2011 at 2:52 PM
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AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Police in Texas say a man sentenced to probation for burglary faked having terminal breast cancer to avoid having to meet with his parole officer.

After presenting a letter to the probation officer purporting to be from Texas Oncology South Austin saying he had cancer, Brian Jeffrey Bonniwell, 32, was arrested on a felony charge of fabricating physical evidence, the Austin American-Statesman reported Wednesday.

Sentenced to 10 years of probation in 2005 on a burglary charge, Bonniwell was required to meet with a probation officer once a month.

On July 20, Bonniwell met with the officer and presented the letter, which said he had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments and could not attend subsequent meetings, police said.

When a subpoena was issued to Texas Oncology South Austin for Bonniwell's medical records, the treatment center told the court they had no record of Bonniwell ever being a patient.

Bonniwell is being held on $115,000 bail.

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