New York

Brooklyn Couple Pleads Guilty in Scam Charity Scheme

What to Know

  • Prosecutors say the couple used the story of a real 5-year-old boy with cancer, falsely saying he died to get people to pony up cash
  • They were arrested Friday; the investigation started in late February after they were seen going into businesses in Lynbrook
  • The total estimated haul of the alleged scheme wasn't known, but officials said they took in $200 in Lynbrook in one day

A Brooklyn couple has admitted to collecting thousands of dollars in a funeral charity scam.

Thirty-year-old Vincent Fina and 31-year-old Brittney Schmidt both pleaded guilty on Long Island Thursday to scheme to defraud.

The judge says he'll sentence them on Nov. 5 to five years' probation, 60 hours of community service and any required treatment programs.

The couple was arrested in March for fabricating stories about needing money to pay for a child's funeral or cancer treatment. Police say they brought their 11-year-old son with them as they solicited donations from businesses on Long Island and Queens.

Fina's lawyer told the judge his client was getting drug treatment. He said the married couple was using drugs and "were desperate.

Newsday reports that Schmidt's Legal Aid lawyer declined to comment.

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