A married couple has admitted to conducting a devious scheme in which they pretended their 11-year-old son had cancer in order to rip off good samaritans, as reported by CBS New York.
Brittney Schmidt, 31, and Vincent Fina, 30, pleaded guilty to charges of scheming to defraud and endangering the welfare of a child in a Long Island court on Thursday.
The duo used their 11-year-old son as a pawn in order to bilk an estimated $20,000 from kind people in Brooklyn, New Jersey and online.
Schmidt and Fina pretended their son had cancer as part of their scam.
“They started out with their 11-year-old son, allegedly saying that he had leukemia,” Nassau County Assistant District Attorney Diane Peress said.
However, their fraudulent behavior soon extended beyond their son, with the pair pretending to raise money for other cancer-stricken children, all of whom were made up. They even used a photo of a real 5-year-old boy who is currently suffering from the horrific disease, as previously reported by CrimeOnline.
“It’s unbelievable,” the boy’s mother, Kelly Incandela, said, noting that the married couple staged a fake funeral for her son in order to steal money. “I was very happy to hear that they both pleaded guilty. I finally feel like some justice has been served and they will not get away with what they did.”
“Although nothing can change the hurt they caused us, it does give us some satisfaction knowing they did not get away with what they did.”
The couple’s 11-year-old is now living with his grandmother and will remain with her while his parents complete the mandates and conditions of their guilty pleas.
Schmidt and Fina used the money they stole to buy drugs, according to their defense attorney.
[Feature Photo: Nassau County Police Department]