March 21 (UPI) -- A New York grandmother has been charged with stealing $400,000 from a charity that is supposed to benefit the families of New York Police Department officers who are killed in the line of duty.
Lorraine Shanley, 68, faces federal bank fraud and aggravated identity theft charges. As treasurer of Survivors of the Shield, she's accused of stealing more than 20 percent of the donations.
Shanley turned herself over to authorities Thursday morning. The charity received $1.9 million in donations during Shanley's time as treasurer with 99 percent of that coming from NYPD officers.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York said she spent $29,000 on a grandchild's private school tuition, $32,0000 for personal dental expenses and $25,000 for landscaping. She also wrote $45,000 in checks to family members and friends. She also used the money to buy tickets to see a performance by Barbara Streisand and to help pay for her son's legal expenses.
"Lorraine Shanley allegedly capitalized on tragedy and monetized people's generosity," U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. 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. Thanks to the investigative work of the IRS and special agents from our office, Shanley will be prosecuted for her actions."
She faces 30 years in prison with two years of mandatory prison charge for the aggravated identity theft charge alone.