Treasurer allegedly bilked $400,000 from charity for families of fallen NYPD officers

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A volunteer treasurer for a charity benefiting the families of fallen New York City police officers has been arrested on charges she stole funds to pay personal expenses like dental work and tickets to a Barbra Streisand show.

Lorraine Shanley, 68, of Staten Island, is charged with bank fraud and identity theft, accused of stealing more than $400,000 from Survivors of the Shield.

"Lorraine Shanley allegedly capitalized on tragedy and monetized people's generosity," U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said. "As alleged, Shanley stole over 20 percent of the donations to a charity whose sole mission is to help the families of NYPD officers killed in the line of duty."

Prosecutors say Shanley used the checks and a credit card from the group's bank account to go on a spending spree.

They say the bulk of the money went to family members and to pay legal fees in a criminal case against her son.

Shanley served as volunteer treasurer from at least 2010 to 2017, during which time the charity received approximately $1.9 million in donations -- more than 99 percent of which came from NYPD employees.

Authorities say that she used the charity's bank account and credit card to:

--Write at least $45,000 in checks that were either payable to family members or that were made out to other people but which Shanley double endorsed and deposited into her own accounts
--Pay approximately $29,000 for her grandchild's private school tuition;
--Pay approximately $63,000 for legal services and expenses related to criminal charges against her son
--Pay approximately $32,000 for personal dental expenses
--Pay approximately $25,000 for landscaping on her personal residence
--Purchase more than $8,000 in event tickets, including over $1,400 for Barbra Streisand concert tickets

If convicted of the top charge, she faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.

Shanley also served on the board of trustees for the New York City Police Museum.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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