(NEW YORK) -- When a police officer dies in the line of duty it often prompts an outpouring of generosity from within the ranks to support the officer’s family.
But Lorraine Shanley, a volunteer treasurer for Survivors of the Shield, a nonprofit that helps the families of fallen New York Police Department, "monetized people's generosity" by stealing more than 20 percent of the donations to the organization, federal prosecutors said.
Shanley was arrested Thursday and charged with bank fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection to an alleged scheme in which she rerouted more than $400,000 of the charity’s money into an account for her own use.
Shanley "fraudulently obtained and expended at least approximately $410,000 held in the checking account of a charitable organization for which she volunteered as Treasurer by, among other things, forging the signature of another authorized signatory of the charity's checks, double endorsing the charity's checks and cashing and depositing them into her own personal accounts, writing unauthorized checks and making unauthorized checking account payments to pay for personal expenses and to distribute money to herself and family members," the criminal complaint said.
The criminal complaint said Shanley spent the charity’s money to pay for her grandchild’s private school tuition, landscaping for herself and Barbara Streisand concert tickets.
Shanley was the volunteer treasurer of Survivors of the Shield from at least 2010 to 2017, court records say, and in that time the charity received nearly $2 million in donations, most of which came from NYPD employees.
“Lorraine Shanley violated her position of trust at a charity and victimized families who have already sacrificed so much,” said IRS-CI acting special agent in charge Jonathan Larsen.
Shanley, 68, of Staten Island, faces up to 30 years in prison. She turned herself in and faces an initial appearance in court Thursday afternoon. It wasn’t immediately clear whether she had an attorney.
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