A couple in the US are suing their son's school for almost half a million dollars after they accused it of rigging a fundraising auction.
New York City socialite Michelle Heinemann and her investment banker husband, Jon, are suing the Cathedral School of St. John the Divine after they were charged $50,000 for a finger painting, the NY Post reports.
Ms Heinemann worked with her son's kindergarten class to create a finger painting that could be sold at the school's fundraiser charity auction in March this year.
The painting consisted of traced-and-cut-out paper hands of their son, Hudson and his 17 classmates.
After they were told paintings typically sell at fundraisers for up to $1200, the couple agreed they would place the winning bid at $3000 as they could not attend the event, their lawsuit filed in the Manhattan Supreme Court said.
However, the school's director of advancement had a first-grade teacher, Ms Bryant, drove up the bid to "the outrageous sum of $50,000", the suit alleges.
Subsequently, the couple have removed their son from the school and are suing for around $450,000 plus damages, including $25,000 tuition to a new school, forfeited school fees for their daughter and Hudson's $65,000-a-year chauffeur.
"The Heinemanns tried to settle this matter without a lawsuit, but the cathedral had no interest in taking responsibility for their actions," family spokesman R Couri Hay said.
The school did not return the newspaper’s calls.
Source: New York Post
Author: Sophie Cousins. Approving editor: Jack Hawke