Carol Schnuphase, a 47 year-old mother has been sentenced by Macomb County Circuit Judge Richard Caretti, for collecting $10,000 in donations under false claims that her son suffered from cancer.
Schnuphase was sentenced to one year of imprisonment, along with the payment of more than $10,000 in restitution. She has also received three years of probation and six months of house arrest after her release.
The judge condemned her action as reprehensible. "To tell a vulnerable, defenseless young boy that he was dying of cancer for your own pecuniary gain was beyond the realm of comprehension," he said.
Schnuphase had deceived her 13 year-old son to believe that he had leukemia and kept him feeling sick by giving him opiate-laced food. She had also shaved his eyebrows and head to fool the people who gave her money and toys to help her. In her defense, her attorney, Dominic Greco, claimed that she had suffered a huge loss in her husband's death and the thought her son had cancer became a reality to her very soon when she found she couldn't halt what she had started.
Assistant Prosecutor Therese Tobin said that in her experience she had not seen a combination of this kind of scam and child exploitation. Schnuphase's family has stated that the sentence is too mild for her. In fact, different family members claim that she has had a history of cheating people and her remorse was simply over the fact that she did not plan better to get away successfully. Her cousin says that she always had a sinister side.
Children's Protective Services has taken over the custody of the son.