Woman convicted in Long Island cancer scam sentenced
A Brooklyn woman who ran a cancer scam on Long Island was sentenced Monday to one year in jail.
Brittney Schmidt and Vincent Fina pleaded guilty back in September to a felony charge of scheming to defraud.
Officials say the couple used a picture of Gianni Incandela, a Staten Island boy actually suffering from a brain tumor, to scam money from donors at Long Island businesses. Officials say the couple also targeted New York City businesses, fire stations and police precincts.
A judge issued a warrant for Schmidt and Fina last month after they failed to show up for a court appearance.
They had been set to get probation in the case. After they failed to appear in court, the judge opted for jail time for Schmidt. Fina is due back in court Jan. 24.
Incandela's grandmother, Dee Tirado, says it all started when the couple, with their young son in tow, showed up at her Brooklyn office asking for donations back in 2016 and again in 2017. That's where she believes they got the picture of the 5-year-old.
"We have justice for Gianni. That's all we ever wanted today and that's what we got,” says Tirado.
Schmidt apologized in court to the businesses involved, as well as to Gianni and his family.