Former Ohio State nurse sentenced to 2 years for faking cancer, accepting donations

Tawni Fuller (Delaware County Prosecutor's Office)

A former nurse at Ohio State University pleaded guilty to lying about having a terminal illness and accepting donations.

Monday she was sentenced to two years in prison and three years of post-release control.

Thirty-four-year-old Tawni Fuller pleaded guilty to telecommunications fraud and theft in October.

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Fuller, a former nurse anesthetist, told co-workers at Ohio State she had terminal lung cancer in 2016.

An investigation found Fuller lied about being sick and accepting gifts, money and donated sick days.

"Ms. Fuller took advantage of friends, coworkers, her community and employer -- people who trusted and cared for her," Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O'Brien said. "If you've ever known someone who has fought cancer, it's horrifying, and it's hard to believe that someone would take advantage of the community in this way."

She was ordered to pay $45,469.68 in restitution to Ohio State Medical Center and $2,304.66 in restitution to victims. She is not permitted to have contact with victims, and must stay off the OSU premises.

"Ms. Fuller took much more than money," O'Brien said. "She stole time and trust; She caused serious and lasting harm to the victims' faith in humanity."