Mother charged with faking son’s ‘mystery’ illness and putting him through procedures for charity cash

‘Essentially Kristy and Erik Schneider falsified their child’s health conditions,’ Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says

Louise Hall
Thursday 29 July 2021 16:13
<p>Kristy Beth Schneider and Erik Schneider allegedly raised $31,000 in charitable donations for their son between 2017 and 2019</p>

Kristy Beth Schneider and Erik Schneider allegedly raised $31,000 in charitable donations for their son between 2017 and 2019

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An Arkansas mother has been accused of inflicting unnecessary medical procedures on her adopted son and raising thousands in charitable donations in the process.

According to a lawsuit filed on Wednesday by the state attorney general, Kristy Beth Schneider and Erik Schneider raised $31,000 in charitable donations for their son between 2017 and 2019.

The boy was adopted by the couple in 2014 when he was five years old and was treated at hospitals in Little Rock, Cincinnati and at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

“Essentially Kristy and Erik Schneider falsified their child’s health conditions to receive more than $31,000 in charitable donations and contributions from Arkansans” Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said.

She added: “It’s sad and it’s sickening that parents would put their own child at risk, at health risk, for their own profit ... it’s unbelievable.” The attorney general has filed the suit to seek recovery of the funds.

The Schneiders’ attorney, Jeff Rosenzweig, said he had not seen the lawsuit and declined comment when contacted by the Associated Press.

Ms Schneider on Monday was charged with endangering the welfare of her son, who the pair lost custody of in 2019. According to the charges, Ms Schneider “created a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury” to the young boy.

Ms Schneider allegedly subjected him to factitious disorder, previously known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy, and has been charged with a felony. Court records do not show any charges against Mr Schneider.

Kristy Schneider has been accused of subjecting her son to factitious disorder, previously known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy

“We knew it was coming, we’ve been talking to the prosecutor,” Mr Rosenzweig told AP, declining to comment further.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that Ms Schneider’s defence had arranged with prosecutors for her surrender following the filing of charges.

"She’s not hiding from anyone or anything," Mr Rosenzweig reportedly told the outlet.

At one point in 2019, the boy is said to have received end of life care in a Little Rock hospital, during which time his illness was highly publicised.

According to Mayo Clinic, factitious disorder is when family members or caregivers falsely present others, such as children, as being ill, injured or impaired.

According to the Gazette, Ms Schneider was released from the Saline County Detention Center on a $100,000 bond.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press