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Cops: Fake funeral story used to scam donations in Lynbrook

Brittney Schmidt, 30, left, and Vincent Fina, 29,

Brittney Schmidt, 30, left, and Vincent Fina, 29, both of Brooklyn, were arrested Friday, March 3, 2017, on charges of scheming to defraud, police said. Lynbrook Village police said they were fraudulently collecting donations from Lynbrook businesses for a funeral for a child who had not died. Credit: NCPD

A Brooklyn couple was arrested Friday in Lynbrook after police said they were collecting donations and falsely claiming the money would go to pay for a funeral.

Lynbrook Village police, who arrested the pair, said Brittney Schmidt, 30, and Vincent Fina, 29, both of 63rd Street, and their son were seen Feb. 21 entering several businesses on Merrick Road in Lynbrook and asking for money.

Police said Fina and Schmidt appeared suspicious, and the couple was stopped and asked about the collection. The couple replied that they were collecting donations for a child’s funeral, police said.

Police said, however, that the child named had not died and they were able to locate the donors. Detectives determined the money collection was fraudulent and arrested Schmidt and Fina at their home at 6:40 p.m. Friday.

Schmidt and Fina were both charged with first-degree scheming to defraud and endangering the welfare of a child. At arraignment Saturday, each was release to probation and was scheduled to return to court March 7, according to online court records.

Police are asking those who believe they may have been a victim to contact their local police precinct.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated the agency that made the arrest. It was the Lynbrook Police Department.


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