(AP) Campus police at Southern Illinois University say they’re investigating a hoax played out in a student newspaper to see if any laws were broken.
The Daily Egyptian says the scam involved a child who was tricked into thinking she was playing a movie role when she posed as the daughter of a man serving in Iraq.
A woman who pretended to be the child’s guardian is a 2004 SIU graduate who says she concocted the story with a reporter.
SIU Public Safety Director Todd Sigler said Tuesday police are conducting interviews — and combing through e-mails and other documents. He says part of the investigation is focusing on whether anyone profited from the scam.
The newspaper published the tale over almost two years. It began to unravel when the paper heard the “solider” was killed. Investigations revealed that he never existed.