The widow of a police officer who was killed in the line of duty -- who served as volunteer treasurer for a charity meant to benefit the families of other slain New York City police officers -- stole $410,000 that she spent on dental work, tuition, her son’s legal bills and Barbra Streisand tickets, federal prosecutors allege.
During the seven years that Lorraine Shanley, 68, of Staten Island, volunteered for Survivors of the Shield, the group received $1.9 million in donations -- mostly from employees of the New York Police Department. An average of 5,500 NYPD employees donated each year, a Department of Justice statement read.
“As alleged in the complaint, Lorraine Shanley violated her position of trust at a charity and victimized families who have already sacrificed so much,” said Jonathan D. Larsen, acting head of the IRS criminal investigation division. “IRS-CI is committed to following the money and investigating those individuals who steal from charities for their own personal gain.”
“IRS-CI is committed to following the money and investigating those individuals who steal from charities for their own personal gain.”
Shanley surrendered Thursday to federal prosecutors. She faces bank fraud and aggravated identity theft charges.
Prosecutors allege Shanley spent $29,000 for her grandchild’s private school tuition, $63,000 for legal services related to criminal charges against her son, $32,000 for dental services and more than $1,400 to see Barbra Streisand in concert.
She also allegedly wrote $45,000 in checks to family members and others, according to a criminal complaint.
“She betrayed the trust of the organization,” Kathleen Vigiano, whose husband was a detective who died rescuing people from the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, told the New York Times. “We have widows who have been on a pension since the Sixties and it’s not that high. And that money could have gone to the kids’ educations, the special needs kids, the college kids.”
If convicted, Shanley faces up to 30 years in prison.