Mom used son in cancer scam

March 30, 2011 at 5:34 PM
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DETROIT, March 30 (UPI) -- A year in jail is not long enough for a mom's cancer scam, her family told a Macomb County, Mich., court.

Carol Schnuphase, 47, was ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Eastpointe and another nearly $3,000 she received in cash and toys after she falsely claimed her 13-year-old son was dying of leukemia.

Calling her conduct "reprehensible" Circuit Judge Richard Caretti sentenced Schnuphase to three years' probation and six months house arrest after she serves a year on the charges of false pretenses and second-degree child abuse. A parental rights termination hearing is set for April 15, the Detroit Free Press reported.

An investigation indicated that Schnuphase had given her son "drug-laced food" when he tested positive for opiates assistant prosecutor Therese Tobin said. His eyebrows and head had been shaved.

When family members told the Roseville, Mich., police in June 2010 they believed Schnuphase was lying about her son's leukemia, Children's Protective Services removed the boy from the home and placed him in foster care.

Family members said Schnuphase had "a history of conning people out of money" and believed her sentence was too lenient, the Press reported.

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