Scott Shields plead guilty today in 9/11 Fraud case

SEE IMPORTANT OCTOBER 15, 2008 UPDATE HERE.

I have been covering this sad tale since September 2006. To see an archiving of articles on this case, please click here. Please reference my main article, TRADING IN ON TRAGEDY FOR FAME: Succumbing to the Lure of Truthiness, for the entire ugly story.

W. Windsor man pleads guilty in 9/11 relief fund fraud
By Ryan Tracy, The Times, March 27, 2008, 5:32 PM

small_scott_shields.jpgScott Shields, the West Windsor resident made famous by allegedly false stories about searching with his dog for victims of the World Trade Center collapse, has pleaded guilty to defrauding the federal government of Sept. 11 relief funds.

Shields’ attorney, Jonathan Marks, confirmed that Shields pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, theft of government funds, and mail fraud.

The guilty plea, entered at a federal court in New York, was not attached to any deal regarding sentencing, Marks said. Combined, the offenses carry a penalty of up to 35 years in prison.

The federal indictment alleged that Shields falsely told the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross that he lived near the World Trade Center before the Sept. 11 attacks and as a result received $38,906 in rental assistance funds from FEMA and $10,553 from the Red Cross.

Shields admitted in court Thursday to misusing those funds, Marks said.

Shields “said that he knew that the money he was getting from FEMA was supposed to be used only for back rent, but he used some of it to pay for a new apartment, and he knew that that was wrong,” Marks said.

Shields has been featured by several media outlets, including The Times, after claiming to have helped emergency workers find victims in the aftermath of Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Critics have accused Shields for misrepresenting himself as a trained search-and-rescue expert and exaggerating his exploits. Shields’ website states that a now-dead golden retriever named Bear helped Shields discover the “most victims” at the World Trade Center site.

Further information from Pacer shows that Scott’s sister, Patty, additionally plead guilty to all charges, but did so on an earlier date (March 21, 2008).

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8 thoughts on “Scott Shields plead guilty today in 9/11 Fraud case

  1. What is really sad is the fact that there are thousands of search and rescue volunteers that are honest, have trained and certified and are now blemished.

    As the founder of the search and rescue dog foundation and a 911 k-9 handler, I have been asked about the legitimacy of my foundation because of Scott.

    Volunteers spend hundreds of hours training and thousands of dollars of their own money to assist others.

    For the majority of the general public…no we do not get paid by the government. EVERYTHING comes out of our own pockets.

    http://www.sardogfoundation.org

  2. Maybe now all his sycophants will understand where we were coming from……………..and that what we were telling them was the truth – he and his sister are frauds!

  3. Rochelle,

    I want to thank you for all you have done for the SAR community.

    Let Freedom Ring,
    Across the land
    Let Captains beware,
    Judgment is at hand.

  4. Rochelle,

    Fantastic that you have kept on top of this story. The whole community of landlords, animal insurance CEO’s and SAR people are forever indebted to your vigilance.

  5. I wonder what BS he will tell his friends in prison – and you can bet they wont believe the spin……………………….

    The old saying comes to mind…………………you cant con a con………….hope your listening Scott you are a disgrace to the good old USA

    ex-marine

  6. I am shocked to read this story, I befriended this man at the JC promotions flea market. this man and his sister are still passing them selves off as rescue personnel collecting for their foundation, claiming to have funded the rafts for the Katrina victims with pictures showing Scott Shields with the military.
    The last time I saw them collecting money was Nov. 9, 2008 in Clifton, NJ. Scott said he was going on a mission for the Government and couldn’t speak about it. I hope the mission is to prison, if this story is true.

    Ex-Air Force.

  7. Funny about that mission that he could not speak about. He is in prison now serving his time. A liar to the end. And, continuing to cheat folks out of their money, which still continues through his website and his sister who does not enter prison for another 8 months, to do her time.

    You can see where he is by going here:
    http://tinyurl.com/5r6rhp

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