Sentence Enhanced for Lying About Cancer

     HOUSTON (CN) – A Houston woman’s attempt to get a lighter federal sentence by claiming she has “stage five” breast cancer backfired when authorities realized there are only four recognized stages of cancer.
     Kendra Walker, 28, pleaded guilty in April to embezzling $452,000 from her former employer, Southwestern Energy Co., from February 2014 to February 2015, the Southern Texas U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
     “In an attempt to receive a more lenient sentence, Walker had claimed she was being treated at a hospice for a terminal condition and submitted a three-page report purportedly created by her hospice,” prosecutors said in a statement. “However, the U.S. Attorney’s Office noticed that this report claimed Walker had been diagnosed with ‘stage 5’ breast cancer, whereas stage 4 is regarded as the gravest stage by the National Cancer Institute.”
     The FBI looked into it and determined the hospice report was phony.
     “Walker had never been a hospice patient. Walker also claimed to have been recently treated at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, but hospital representatives confirmed there were no records of her having been treated there,” prosecutors said.
     At Walker’s July 20 sentencing, U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas enhanced her punishment to 36 months in federal prison and ordered her to pay back all the money she stole.
     Atlas let Walker remain free on bond and she must turn herself in within a few weeks.

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