What a grand photo this is. Just goes to show the chutzpah this man truly has. It shows Theo, the dog that Scott has repeatedly lied about, as to his being a descendant of Bear. He has absolutely no training of any kind but Scott dresses him up in a Red Cross Rescue vest and sticks phony patches and badges all over it.
Scott Shields pleads guilty in 9/11 rescue fraud case
By Greg Forester, Packet Online Staff Writer, April 1, 2008
Staff Photo by Mark Czajkowski
WEST WINDSOR — A West Windsor man has pleaded guilty to fraud charges for the misuse of Sept. 11-related funds after he made false claims of rescuing victims with his dog Bear from the rubble of the 2001 terrorist attack.
The resident, Scott Shields, pleaded guilty on Thursday to all counts.
That guilty plea pertained to the crimes of theft of government funds, mail fraud, and conspiracy to defraud the United States after receiving almost $50,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross between November 2000 and early 2002.
Mr. Shields was actually living in Greenwich, Conn., at the time, but he signed assistance papers certifying he was living below Canal Street in Manhattan, and needed federal money due to the Sept. 11 attacks.
Those funds were supposed to be used for assistance for people living in and around Ground Zero, but Mr. Shields instead lied on his application, according to his attorney, Jonathan Marks.
”He admitted he knew that the funds that he was getting from FEMA were to pay for rent only, and he used them to get a new apartment,” said Mr. Marks.
Mr. Shields now awaits sentencing in a New York federal court, where he faces a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison.
His initial fame stemmed from his story of searching and locating victims in the debris left over from the collapse of the Twin Towers with his golden retriever Bear.
Following the publicity surrounding Mr. Shields, law enforcement officials and other critics eventually countered those claims. Mr. Shields was ordered to leave the disaster site with his untrained dog, they said.
A book about his alleged exploits in lower Manhattan — “Bear: Heart of a Hero” — was also disputed after its release by the book’s co-author, Nancy West, who eventually denied much of the information contained in the book.
Mr. Shields’ attorney maintained that his client had assisted in the rescue efforts, stating there was a video posted online showing rescue workers speaking about the efforts of Mr. Shields and his dog.
”There is certainly evidence that Bear was successful in finding some of the victims, and there is a tape on YouTube,” Mr. Marks said, referring to the Internet video site.
I just love the comments at the paper’s site about Scott’s incessant lying . . .
From Jane Doe —
Obviously Mr. Shields is trying to blow a smoke screen over the essence of his fraud which is that he never should have applied for FEMA assistance in the first place. He was living in Connecticut at the time of 911 and had lived in CT for years. He moved frequently due to failure to pay his rents. He had declared bankruptcy shortly before 911 and was evicted from his Connecticut residence and needed housing. He did not move to NYC until March of 2002. After living in Battery Park City in a luxury high-rise and stiffing the landlord he moved to 39th Street where he again stiffed the landlord. As for 911 work, he was kicked off the pile after three days. He then hung around Ground Zero seeking publicity. He sometimes claimed to be writing up “lessons learned”. This was a volunteer activity he invented in order to have a reason to hang around GZ getting freebies. Many, many people know about this scam in great detail—mostly because of Mr. Shields own boasting!
Also, in the longer version of the YouTube tape referred to here and that was shown on local television, the firefighter says that the carnage was everywhere under the debris and that he had no idea of how a search and rescue dog works. The firefighters knew where the Chief was located as they knew exactly where the Command Center had been relocated to. Mr. Shields simply followed them to the spot. Mr. Shields should not try to tweak the facts.
From Dave —
FYI: The YouTube Video cited by Mr. Shields’ attorney, Jonathan Marks is owned by Mr. David Mintzer (Ideogram Productions) and is part of a larger work. The individuals who obtained and posted this copyrighted work were never given permission to do so (listed on YouTube as Ann Casey and BSRF) by the owner, Mr. Mintzer. YouTube is presently being notified of alleged Federal Copyright Violations for this infringement. Thank you to Mr. Marks for bringing yet another alleged infraction of Mr. Shields to the attention of injured parties and, of course, to the media!