SEE IMPORTANT OCTOBER 15, 2008 UPDATE HERE.
I hate to see it happen, after thinking that the wheels of justice, albeit slow, actually do not roll at all. But, from what I hear, Mr. Shields has it all planned out in his little thieving, con-artist mind that he’s figured out a way to beat justice.
1. Being a convicted felon, admitting that he stole $50,000 from the federal government
2. Having an extended history of bankrupting businesses and stiffing landlords for rent
3. Feigning illness from his mere 2 days on the pile (saying he broke ankles, etc.) and now collecting disability monies for years
4. Having a nonprofit foundation that has taken in hundreds of thousands of dollars over several years through his misrepresenting himself and his dog as certified first responders (speaking his lies repeatedly and directly soliciting monies at dog shows, elementary and middle schools, boy scout groups, security and boating shows, legal members involved in dog law legislation, etc.)
5. Not filing returns for his nonprofit and keeping a significant amount of money for himself and his sister to support them since they have not worked a day since even before 2001 when they took their dress store into bankruptcy
His defense will be this…
1. He has no formal criminal record
2. He admitted his guilt instead of forcing the trial (even though the DA’s office was trying for several months to get this, he held out until 2 weeks before the trial was to begin)
2. He is not a flight risk and he has performed selflessly and heroically for his fellow citizens
3. He sought out a mental health assessment after being arrested to show that he merely cheated the government due to having been traumatized by 9/11 and not knowing what he was doing …. you know, the Red Cross told him to lie and sign on the dotted line to get all that money …. or, he just was confused when he said he lived in NYC and was entitled to monies due to his losing everything in the attacks.
4. He will be flooding the court with letters from his cronies about what a great hero he is and showing all the awards he and his dog Bear have received …. awards that were received as based on his lies about doing the most … saving the most … yadda yadda yadda.
He is going to try and get out doing any work since he is of course too disabled to work (ha ha) so there is little chance they will get the $50,000 back or any fines added to that. He also believes with his plan above that his jail time will be essentially nothing (despite a 35 year maximum) and most likely only a certain amount of years probation.
But, a friend of mine who is close to the case counters my belief with this statement:
Correction, there is a 100% chance that Scott and Patty will never repay the money they stole. They have never paid any of the numerous judgments against them. You can’t get blood from a stone.
Prison time is the only suitable punishment for these two. They have no respect for the system and the judge will not buy any of their lame hero stuff.
Patty has priors for fraud (writing rubber checks) and Scott has one arrest for Assault. The judge will also read about all the other people and agencies he’s ripped off, even though it’s not a federal crime the prosecutors always mentions this in their complaint. For the express purpose of sentencing.
I have resolved myself to the fact that like the criminals running our country, that he too, will get off and not be made to pay for his crimes.
And, you know that saying — man’s best friend — well, Scott was never a best friend to dogs. He began killing his Golden Bear, after taking an 11-year-old untrained animal onto a hot pile of molten metal. And, then he persisted in walking him for 10+ hours daily on the hot streets of NYC as he elicited attention and the chance to tell his lying stories about being on the pile for several months.
I knew the filmmaker filming him these many months. He told me that he repeatedly begged Scott to let Bear stay indoors in an air-conditioned environment. He told him he was too old to be walked this much and in the hot conditions. Scott refused to listen. Instead, he dressed Bear up in his bright orange vest and paraded him repeatedly and constantly. And, he never allowed Bear to get better, failing to show up for the expensive hydrotherapy appointments that I arranged for him from a business a block from his door in Battery City. Of course, it was her informing me of this that forced me to sever all ties with this scheming man. But, that would not return the $1200 that I raised for him from fellow Golden lovers who were tricked by his lies of having worked down at Ground Zero for several months and therefore having nothing to rely on financially.
I soon will be sharing footage for you of this horrible treatment and how terrible Bear looked. Using and essentially destroying a dog to get fame for himself is repugnant on so many levels. And, building the nonprofit on his death as a further scam is just so beyond the pale it is hard for me to even comment on the depravity. But, then, it is hard to forget the comment from sister Patty to Scott following Bear’s death. You know, the one of …”what do we do now, he’s dead”.
If you want to have any say in the matter (all the Search & Rescue folks, Golden Retriever folks, dog lovers, etc.) so that this man does not escape justice, you need to get to your keyboards to write letters. The Assistant US Attorney handling the case is Jenna Minicucci-Dabbs. All letters should go to her at:
Jenna Minicucci Dabbs
United States Attorney, Southern District New York
One Saint Andrew’s Plaza
New York, NY 10007
(212)637-2212 ; (212)637-2937 (fax) ; firstname.lastname@example.org
To refresh folks’ memory about this excuse for a human being, please see this article for the entire sordid tale.
I have reproduced the most recent news article from a small NJ paper. Maybe some folks in the know can help get this story to the networks, bigger papers, whatever. It just amazes me that this does not get any play, especially when this man continues to prey on our youth and do presentations in schools and more. That is what he is doing right now and will continue to do for the next couple of months before sentencing takes place.
Man admits 9/11 fraud
W. Windsor resident lied about needing FEMA money
Friday, March 28, 2008
BY RYAN TRACY
Scott Shields, the West Windsor resident now famous for allegedly false claims that his dog Bear helped discover victims of the World Trade Center collapse, has pleaded guilty to defrauding relief agencies of nearly $50,000 in the aftermath of Sept. 11.
Shields’ attorney, Jonathan Marks, confirmed that Shields pleaded guilty yesterday to all counts of a federal indictment alleging he lied about needing housing assistance funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
On his assistance application, Shields claimed he needed the money because of the Sept. 11 terror attack on New York City. Federal officials charged that he was actually living in Connecticut at the time.
Shields received money earmarked for those living near Ground Zero — $38,906 from FEMA and $10,553 from the Red Cross — after he gave false information to the agencies, according to the indictment.
Shields has not been sentenced and the guilty plea, entered at a federal court in New York, was not contingent on any agreement regarding sentencing, Marks said.
Combined, the crimes of theft of government funds, mail fraud, and conspiracy to defraud the United States carry a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison.
Shields and his golden retriever became a nationally recognized duo because of Shield’s claims that together they found the most victims at Ground Zero.
The pair became feature story material for many media outlets, including The Times. However, Retired New York City Police Lt. Dan Donadio, a former K9 officer whose teams led the Ground Zero recovery efforts, has said that during the initial hours of the recovery effort he told Shields to leave the site because Bear was not a trained rescue dog and might mislead emergency workers.
Other critics have accused Shields of misrepresenting his search-and-rescue expertise and exaggerating his exploits.
According to the federal indictment, Shields actually lived with his sister in Greenwich, Conn., in 2001 but subsequently paid rent on an apartment in lower Manhattan in 2002.
Yesterday Shields admitted to misusing the FEMA funds to pay for a new apartment, Marks said.
According to Marks’ account, Shields said in federal court that “he knew that the money he was getting from FEMA was supposed to be used only to pay back rent, but he used some of it to pay for a new apartment, and he knew that that was wrong.”
Shields also claimed the Red Cross knew he was falsely giving a Manhattan address when he applied for the assistance, according to Marks.
“He said the people at the Red Cross told him that they were going to try to fit him into a program to benefit people who lived below Canal Street (the northern boundary of the area in which residents could qualify for the Red Cross’ aid program) even though he told them that he lived in Connecticut,” Marks said.
Shields did admit, however, that he “signed an application stating falsely that he lived below Canal Street,” Marks said.
Checks mailed to Shields for the fraudulently obtained Red Cross money were the basis of the mail fraud charge, which alone carries a maximum penalty of 20 years.
Let me comment on the spin that the defense lawyer made in this article, and the one below. Scott did not take some of the money and use it for back rent or for the new apartment. He paid not one penny to the landlord for any rent. NOT ONE PENNY. PERIOD. He took the money and he spent it on himself for whatever …. I guess food and gasoline for his car, etc. Remember, this man has not had a paying job (or filed a tax return) since before 2001 when he and his sister drove their business into the ground and into bankruptcy … something they have done repeatedly. And, they have stiffed landlords repeatedly, as well, as you can see here.
Instead, he created a nonprofit foundation that has kept him nice and cushy in a townhouse in the expensive area of NJ. Pretty nice for someone who hasn’t worked in 7 years!
People have written to me and asked why a convicted federal felon brother-sister team are still allowed to operate a nonprofit foundation and solicit funds from the public. I have been asked why his website remains up. I have heard from one person who was angry enough to contact Paypal after she saw that he has a Paypal donate button at his site still allowing folks to send in money.
Well, I do not have the answers, but I sure do know who needs to be contacted. So, if you want to see these things end, please contact the following persons.
J.T. Vogt is the technical support person who maintains the website for Scott’s foundation. His addresses is listed as
W5910 Genske Rd
Black Creek, WI 54106.
His phone number is 920-984-1199 and his fax is 920-562-7722. He runs the company unisrv.net. At whois, his email is listed as email@example.com and at the website the email firstname.lastname@example.org is listed.
To make a complaint to Paypal, you can contact their Executive Escalations office at 402-935-5146.
To contact the NY Attorney General, Andrew M. Cuomo, you can go online to their site at http://www.oag.state.ny.us/. The site is enormous and difficult to figure out who should be contacted. I did see a note regarding charitable solicitation fraud with a contact number of 800-771-7755. But, the question is, can convicted felons run a nonprofit and solicit funds? I just do not know, but it sure does seem like a logical question to ask the folks there. They do have a huge booklet that lists regulations, but it does not include this particular issue.
There is also a complaint form but it is rather vague. Honestly, I doubt if they get too many questions asking whether convicted felons can still run such an organization.
Please be sure to provide the Attorney General’s Office with the information regarding the District Attorney in the Federal Case that I have detailed above, Jenna Dabbs. Also, it may help to reference the Case number, which is 1:07-cr-00320-RWS.