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Brooklyn Man Gets 1 To 3 Years In Cancer Scam Involving Boy

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A Brooklyn man has been sentenced for a cancer scam involving a little boy.

As WCBS 880's Sophia Hall reported, both Brittney Schmitt and Vincent Fina are now behind bars – both sentenced for a cancer scam involving a 6-year-old boy named Gianni Incandela who has brain cancer.

Gianni Incandela
Gianni Incandela, 5, of Staten Island, has had his photo used in a charity scam. (Credit: CBS2)

Schmitt received one year behind bars on Jan. 8. The same Nassau County judge, however, sentenced Fina to one to three years.

"I do believe that she was the mastermind. I could tell that he just went along for the ride and he benefited from her scheme," said Gianni's grandmother, Dee Tirado. "So I wish she would have gotten as much as he did if not more."

Brittney Schmidt along with her partner Vincent Fina pleaded guilty in September to a felony charge of scheme to defraud.

Prosecutors said they collected thousands of dollars claiming it was for a Gianni and his family -- but they instead used the money to buy drugs. Schmidt, a college educated medical assistant, and Fina, who's in construction, had lost their jobs and turned to heroin.

The couple often used a photo lifted from the GoFundMe page of 6-year-old Gianni, of Rossville, Staten Island, who has a brain tumor.

Both Schmitt and Fina were originally set to get probation, until they never showed up for court on more than one occasion and the judge instead decided on jail time.

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