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St. Peters Teaching Student Accused of Faking Cancer Pleads Guilty on Fraud Charge

Victoria Ann Marut, 23, pleaded guilty to claims she faked a doctor's signature she used to dupe Truman State University officials into believing she was battling cancer.

A Truman State University student from St. Peters accused of faking cancer admitted to forgery on Monday. 

Victoria Ann Marut, 23, pleaded guilty to claims she faked a doctor's signature she used to dupe school officials into believing she was battling cancer. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Marut is scheduled to be sentenced June 3 in Adair County Circuit Court in Kirksville and prosecutors are recommending probation.

The Post-Dispatch reports that Adair County prosecutor Matthew Wilson said his office planned to dismiss a charge of stealing related to the case. Wilson told the Post-Dispatch Marut would be required to repay any gifts she received while faking the cancer that aren’t repaid by the sentencing. Wilson also told the Post-Dispatch the agreement also would address rehabilitation and that the judge would be asked to sentence Marut to prison and suspend execution of the sentence.

Marut is accused of faking a doctor's note claiming she had cancer and receiving expensive gifts as part of the scam. A student in Truman's Master of Arts in Education, Marut was working at Kirksville Primary School when she informed the administration she was battling terminal cancer. Concerned about Marut’s health, the University and the primary school asked the Marut to provide documentation that she was physically able to continue her internship.

Department of Public Safety Director for the University Tom Johnson told the Index Marut gave the University a letter later that afternoon. The letter head was a Boone Hospital letterhead with Doctor Michael Trendle’s name. The letter gave Marut's diagnosis, but also said she should be able to continue her internship. Further checking out the issue, Trendle was contacted. Trendle, an oncologist with the Missouri Cancer Associates, confirmed he did not write the letter and never had Marut as a patient.

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