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Ex-Treasurer Accused Of Stealing Over $400K From Charity For Families Of Fallen NYPD Officers

March 21, 2019 - 2:23 pm
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Updated 9:17 a.m. on Friday, March 22, 2019

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The former volunteer treasurer of a police charity is accused of stealing more than $400,000 meant for the families of NYPD officers killed in the line of duty.

Investigators say over a seven-year period, 68-year-old Lorraine Shanley, a police widow, pocketed more than 20 percent of the $1.9 million in donations made to the charity, Survivors of the Shield, with almost all of the cash coming from NYPD employees.

Shanley is accused of spending $29,000 to pay her grandchild's private school tuition, $63,000 to pay for legal services related to criminal charges against her son, more than $30,000 on dental services, $25,000 for landscaping at her home and even $1,400 to see Barbara Streisand in concert, federal prosecutors said.

In other cases, prosecutors say Shanley allegedly wrote out checks that were either payable to family members or made out to other people which she then double endorsed and deposited into her own accounts.

Prosecutors with the Southern District of New York say Shanley is facing bank fraud and identitify theft charges.

“Lorraine Shanley allegedly capitalized on tragedy and monetized people’s generosity," U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said. 

Shanley surrendered to authorities Thursday morning. 

Her husband was an NYPD officer. He died on duty from a heart attack in 1986.

The charity's president said Shanley betrayed the trust of the organization.

"We have made it our mission to root out this wrong doing and put a system in place so this never happens again," charity president Kathleen Vigiano said.