We have all received those heart-wrenching emails asking for our help for a child who is dying of cancer. We all have wanted to help and some of us have probably even given our heard-earned money via PayPal and credit card to those families in need thinking we were doing a good deed. Turns out, we all could have been being duped.
Carol Schnuphase, 47, a mother in Michigan, is accused of duping many out of thousands of dollars by telling them her 12-year-old son had leukemia. And what's worse is that she also duped the boy himself, shaving his head and eyebrows, drugging him with opiates so he would appear sicker.
And she did all this for financial gain. Given I write daily about the horrific abuses "parents" inflict on their children, I don't take it lightly to say this woman may be in the running for the Worst Mother in History Award.
The idea that anyone would manipulate the good faith of other people is sickening, but to also manipulate the boy himself is truly heartbreaking.
Granted, this mother was in a terrible situation. She had recently lost her job and her husband died suddenly. Those situations on their own may have been enough to solicit donations. She didn't need to go the extra mile by mentally abusing and drugging her defenseless child. "She was basically at the end of her rope," her lawyer said. She also denies she drugged her son, though he was clearly going through opiate withdrawal according to the prosecution.
Prosecutors say Schnuphase asked for donations from a variety of people and churches. She received $7,500 from a church fundraiser and other donations, and her son was given gifts, including an Xbox.
Schnuphase was ordered to pay more than $10,000 back to the church, schools, and others who gave her money. He also gave her credit for 179 days of time served and ordered her to serve three years of probation. All this will translate into six months of house arrest with a tether upon her release.
The sentence, in this case, just doesn't seem to fit the crime. How will this boy ever be OK after what his own mother was willing to do to him for money? My heart breaks for him. He lost his father and was mentally and physically abused by his own mother for financial gain. Six months of house arrest seems easy by comparison.
Do you think she should have more jail time?
Image via Andres Rueda/Flickr