German mom convicted of faking kids’ sicknesses for cash

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BERLIN (AP) — A German court has convicted a 49-year-old woman of child abuse and fraud for claiming her children suffered from bogus medical conditions for years to receive additional social assistance.

News agency dpa reported the woman was sentenced to eight years in prison in Luebeck state court Wednesday.

The woman was convicted of claiming that four of her five children suffered from chronic illnesses. She was accused of having them use a wheelchair to convince school officials and doctors.

Her 27-year-old daughter testified the children were threatened if they didn’t go along. She said she moved out and didn’t participate. The others didn’t testify.

The mother was found to have caused the children psychological damage and to have defrauded social services of 135,000 euros ($149,000), plus 1 million euros in unnecessary medication.

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