Cancer scammers arrested after skipping 2 sentencing hearings

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MINEOLA -

A Brooklyn couple who skipped two previous sentencing dates after pleading guilty to running a cancer charity scam has been arrested. 

Brittney Schmidt and Vincent Fina did not appear at a Mineola court last Wednesday, missing their second consecutive appearance.

The pair admitted to using a photo of 5-year-old cancer victim Gianni Incandela, of Staten Island, to scam thousands of dollars from Nassau County businesses.

Gianni's grandmother Dee Tirado says the family didn't know the couple and never saw any money from the donations. Prosecutors say the couple used the money for drugs. 

Prosecutors say the two faced five years of probation, drug treatment and 60-days of community service. They say that deal is probably off the table.

Schmidt's lawyer says her client couldn't make the sentencings because she didn't have money for the train. The judge didn't believe that and ordered her held without bail.

"I am kind of glad that the judge gets to see the kind of people he's dealing with," said Tirado. "Maybe now he'll be a little more harsh with the sentence."

Schmidt could face a three-year sentence at her next court date on Jan. 8. 

Vincent Fina is being held by the NYPD on a separate robbery charge and is expected to be transferred to Nassau County next week.

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