Re-visiting Old Wounds

It seems no matter what I’ve tried to do, convicted felon Scott Shields, keeps up his lying and cheating ways. It’s downright embarrassing when you consider that I have an entire category with close to 40 separate postings devoted to this idiot.

Sadly, it all started on 9/11 at the time of Ground Zero when we all became attached to the images of brave men with their Search & Rescue Dogs combing the destruction for signs of life.

Long story short, Scott misrepresented himself and the work he was supposedly doing on the pile, getting me to collect over $1000 for him, getting a Battery Park apt, etc. I continued to be concerned about his senior-aged Bear, actually arranging for free hydrotherapy sessions within walking distance to his newly (and, while I didn’t know then, illegally) obtained NYC apartment. It was when I was contacted by the hydro-therapist that Scott was not keeping his appointments (I found out he was instead walking Bear for several hours daily on the hot NYC streets telling his stories & trying to get money) that I ended the relationship and removed all mention of him from my website.

Bearsdad or Bearsdad2, as he calls himself, was merely consumed with himself above all others, and innocent Bear suffered as a result. His narcissism trumped all as he attempted to trade in on tragedy for his manipulated sense of fame.

I never tire of watching this short, but spot on, video clip of Scott talking to a group of youngsters (he’s done many of these talks btw). According to self-proclaimed Ground Zero hero, Scott Shields, his Golden Retriever “Bear was the first Search and Rescue Dog inside the World Trade Center. He found the most live people.”  . . . . . . . . . (now wait for it).

THERE WERE NO LIVE FINDS MADE BY A DOG.

It seems that Scott is now behind a new channel at Youtube where he is trying again to rehabilitate his reputation by slandering others and continuing to deny the fraud that he carried out and for which he spent 8 months in federal prison. And, he is unknowingly (to the actual person) registering a FDNY member at Youtube and then making fictitious comments under his name. Due to spam, I screen every comment that comes to my channel so Scott is making little headway with me with his ridiculous postings. But, he is working hard elsewhere.

I continue to have folks contact me about meeting Scott—along with his current Golden Retriever of course—at various dog venues and flea markets where he continues to peddle his wares and lies. But, the following correspondence that I just received this week was quite insightful, as it described Scott before the time of his Ground Zero adventures.

I googled Scott Shields just out of curiosity as to where he’d gone, and hit your website.

I met him while walking my dog in Byram, Connecticut about 1999/2000. (He did actually have a very lovable, older golden named Bear.) He was wearing some sort of “jump suit” with some sort of “emergency” patches on the sleeves, and then proceeded to lie down on the sidewalk in front of me, in the park, stating he “was tired”.  He had an outboard boat with the word “safety” stenciled on it in blue. He told me that the Red Cross did not appreciate him, because he “thought outside the box” and that was why he couldn’t pass any Red Cross leadership courses.

I remember thinking that he didn’t just think outside the box, he thought off the shelf. Other people who I met who walked dogs stated that he was wacko. He was strange enough that I have remembered him over time, even after a brief meeting.

I believe that you are not incorrect in pursuing this issue.

Why am I not surprised? (Updated)

Hard to believe that I have 35 postings already in my ‘Scott Shields Fraud’ Category. For those unfamiliar with this scam artist, just go here (Trading in on Tragedy for Fame: Succumbing to the Lure of Truthiness) to get the original story.

Scott is no longer behind bars, and surprisingly, it took him no time at all to break the terms of his probation. He was not to leave the state of New Jersey, and was specifically told not to venture into New York City, especially to the Ground Zero area.

But, that is just what he did, a friend of mine almost having a heart attack when he saw him 2 weeks ago at Engine Co. 10 Ladder Co. 10. on the remembrance of 9-11, no less.

Of course, he was busy telling his stories about being the big hero at Ground Zero, lapping up all the attention by having Golden Retriever Theo with him. My friend was able to get photos with his cell phone and then contacted Scott’s probation officer. She was none too pleased.

I’ve learned that Scott has plead guilty to breaking probation, as I am sure he realizes he is screwed due to his continual lying and scamming. I will surely keep folks updated as to the outcome of this breach.

Specifically, Scott is on supervised release for three years, following his prison sentence. No travel is allowed outside the district of New Jersey for the first 60 days. Scott violated his supervised release by traveling to NYC on 9/11. Reportedly, he has admitted to being there and violating his supervised release. After his 60 days (possibly longer now), Scott will have to ask permission to leave the district. I seriously doubt his probation officer will allow him out of the district to defraud the public. So whatever permission he gets may be under false pretenses.

These photos show that Scott just cannot commit to the straight and narrow, continuing to wear rescue-themed costumes and put a rescue vest on his untrained, dog-aggressive Theo. Talk about keeping a low profile . . .

Do stay tuned. I will have more to add on this continuing 8 year saga in a couple of weeks. The wheels of justice turn very slowly and I do not want to give Scott an up on the case by publishing specific information here. When I have heard that his probation officer is okay with me sharing his status, I will do so.

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AN OLDIE BUT A GOODIE!
According to self-proclaimed Ground Zero hero, Scott Shields, his Golden Retriever “Bear was the first Search and Rescue Dog inside the World Trade Center. He found the most live people.”

But, wait for it . . . . . . . THERE WERE NO LIVE FINDS MADE BY A DOG.

Of course, that doesn’t stop Scott from telling the lie over and over and over again to whatever patsy he can find.

Pretty good accounting of Scott Shields scams

Civil suit filed 9/11 rescue fraud case
By Lisa Coryell, Special to the Times, February 6, 2009

Scott Shields, the West Windsor man imprisoned for bilking the federal government out of funding meant for victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, now faces civil fines and penalties for his crime.

In a suit filed in the U.S. District Court’s Southern District of New York, U.S. attorneys are seeking undisclosed damages from Shields, whose dramatic stories of rescuing victims in New York following the World Trade Center attacks and in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina have largely been debunked.

In New York Shields claimed to have worked with his dog, Bear, to sniff out people trapped under the rubble of the World Trade Center buildings, but an officer who led K-9 rescue at the scene later said Shields’ dog was not properly trained and the two were ordered off the site.

Shields’ sister, Patricia Shields, is named as a co-defendant in the civil suit, which seeks damages and penalties for false claims, fraud, unjust enrichment and mistaken payment.

The government wants a jury trial to set damages and penalties.

“Scott Shields and Patricia Shields knowingly, or in deliberate ignorance of or in reckless disregard of the truth, presented, or caused to be presented, to an officer, employee or agent of the United States, false and fraudulent claims for payment or approval by submitting false or fraudulent applications to (Federal Emergency Management Agency) for (Mortgage and Rental Assistance) funds,” the suit alleges.

Shields and his sister received $38,906 from FEMA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency and $10,553 from the American Red Cross after making false claims to the agencies in 2002 that they lived near Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan.

The siblings were indicted for theft of government funds, mail fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States. In October they were both sentenced to eight months in federal prison and ordered to repay the ill-gotten money.

The pair actually lived in Greenwich, Conn., at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and the FEMA money was meant for rental or mortgage assistance to people who lived near the World Trade Center site.

Although the Shieldses later moved to Lower Manhattan, the Red Cross assistance money was meant for victims who lived below Canal Street at the time of the attacks.

Court papers show the Shields siblings did not move to Lower Manhattan until October 2001.

Moreover, court records show the Shieldses were evicted from their Connecticut residence for nonpayment of rent, never used any of the FEMA money for their Manhattan apartment, and that they were “entirely delinquent” in rent from the time they moved in until they were evicted from that residence as well.

Scott Shields later moved to West Windsor.

Shields, who gave himself the rank of “captain,” had wowed the media and the public with his dramatic tales of mass rescues in New Orleans in 2005, and of his heroic K-9 work with his beloved Bear after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Some of the stories appeared in The Times.

The stories about Bear, who Shields said died in 2003 due to 9/11 injuries, led to the creation of a charitable foundation in the dog’s name and a book about his exploits as well. But the accounts eventually were called into question by many authorities and animal rescue specialists.

For example, Shields had claimed he and Bear found the most victims during the rescue efforts following 9/11.

But in 2007, retired New York City Police Lt. Dan Donadio, a former K-9 handler whose teams led the Ground Zero recovery efforts, said he told Shields to leave the site during the initial hours of the recovery effort because Bear was not a trained rescue dog and might mislead emergency workers.

Shields was also suspected of having manufactured a letter from the governor of Louisiana inviting him to lead search and rescue efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina. The letter was posted on Shields’ website but was discredited by the governor’s office.

To learn more about this saga from its beginnings, just go to TRADING IN ON TRAGEDY FOR FAME: Succumbing to the Lure of Truthiness.

And, to see the series of blog posts on this pitiful man and his sister, just click here.

The fun continues.

While one is locked away, the other one plays? Who can say? But, sadly their nonprofit (yea, right) Bear Search and Rescue Foundation’s website still appears online and asks for money. Go figure.

My question, who really will pay? (The taxpayers, of course. What a stupid question.)

To learn more about this saga from its beginnings, just go to TRADING IN ON TRAGEDY FOR FAME: Succumbing to the Lure of Truthiness.

And, to see the series of blog posts on this pitiful man and his sister, just click here.

Preying on the most vulnerable

One-Time Westporter to Enter Prison in 9/11 Fraud Case

A one-time Westporter who claimed he and his dog helped recover bodies at the World Trade Center after 9/11 will enter prison Wednesday to begin serving an eight-month sentence after pleading guilty to fraudulently obtaining thousands of dollars in government relief funds. Scott Shields, shown in a 2005 photo addressing a Westport Historical Society children’s event with his dog Theodore, also addressed the Westport Representative Town Meeting in 2004. He said that his previous dog Bear was a regular dog who became a hero because of his upbringing in Westport where he could run on the beach and in Winslow Park off leash. More on Shields can be found here.

I only wish that Golden Retriever Theo had a better home. And, I wonder if New Jersey based Gold-Rush breeder Ann Johnson, knows where the pup she sold this impostor wound up.

I guess the jig is up.

li.jpgWell, our lying self-named “captain” reports to Fort Dix Federal Prison tomorrow. For the whole sordid tale, click here.

Man sentenced in 9/11 fraud case
By Debra Friedman, The Stamford Advocate, November 11, 2008

A former Greenwich man who credited himself and his golden retriever Bear with recovering bodies at the World Trade Center after Sept. 11, 2001, has been sentenced to eight months in federal prison after his conviction for fraudulently obtaining thousands of dollars in government relief funds, according to court records.

Shields pleaded guilty earlier this year to illegally obtaining government money from two agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency and American Red Cross, according to documents on file in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

He was arrested, along with his sister, Patricia Shields, in March 2007 and initially pleaded not guilty, records show. In March 2008, Scott Shields changed his plea to guilty, according to court records. “Mr. Shields has pleaded guilty to defrauding the American Red Cross and FEMA, in an attempt to exploit programs that were providing financial assistance to people affected by one of this country’s greatest tragedies,” read the sentencing opinion handed down by District Judge Robert Sweet on Oct. 14.

The sentence opinion said that Shields had a previous conviction for bank fraud 18 years ago involving a “significant sum.”

After his release from prison, Shields will enter into three years of supervised release. He also was ordered pay back $49,439 to the government. His sister received an identical sentence.

According to court records, Scott and Patricia Shields applied for mortgage and rental assistance from FEMA after Sept. 11, 2001, claiming they lived in Manhattan at the time. However, government records show they were living and working in Greenwich and not eligible for FEMA assistance. The aid only was meant for people who lived near the World Trade Center, those who had been injured by the events and businesses that were damaged.

Scott and Patricia Shields were evicted from their rental unit in Greenwich in October 2001 for nonpayment of rent, court documents show. While they did move to lower Manhattan after their eviction, they were not eligible for the funds they received and did not use them to pay rent owned on their city apartment, according to court records.

They were evicted for nonpayment of rent at the Manhattan location, according to court records.

Scott Shields’ sentencing comes after six years of making claims about his search and rescue exploits, which were detailed in a book titled “Bear: Heart of a Hero,” credited to Captain Scott Shields and co-author Nancy West. The book was pulled from shelves in 2006, according to a spokesman from the publisher, Hero Dog Publications, after the firm realized Shields was not a captain.

Shields’ main claim was that he and his dog Bear aided in the rescue of victims at ground zero. Roy Gross, chief of the Department at the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, whose organization maintained logs of every dog who assisted in the rescue effort, said Shields and Bear were never documented in its records.

“He was a fraud, unfortunately,” Gross said.

Shields claimed in a Greenwich Time article in 2001 that he was a marine safety specialist who consulted with the New York City parks department. Phil Abramson, a spokesman for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, said the department was aware of Shields’ claim, but that it was not true. “Scott Shields was never employed by the parks department and he was never connected to the parks department,” Abramson said.

Shields’ Manhattan-based attorney, Joel Mark Stein, said he had no comment about the case.

Shields is scheduled to being serving his term on Wednesday, according to the clerk’s office for the United States District Court in the Southern District of New York.

Finally, a newspaper reports on this Ground Zero Liar & Felon

li.jpgSept. 11 fraud nets jail term for man
W. Windsor resident lied to obtain FEMA assistance
BY KEVIN SHEA, The Times of Trenton News, October 17, 2008

Scott Shields, the West Windsor man whose dramatic stories of rescuing victims in New York following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and in New Orleans after Hurricane Ka trina have largely been debunked, has been sentenced to eight months in federal prison for fraudulently obtaining government money.

Shields also was sentenced to three years of supervised release once he is freed from prison, and he and his sister Patricia Shields, a co- defendant in the case who received the same sentence, will also have to pay back nearly $50,000 in money they had sent to them by federal agencies in 2002.

The sentence was handed down Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. The siblings had been indicted on three counts: theft of government funds, mail fraud, and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Scott Shields’ lawyer, Joel M. Stein, declined to comment yesterday on the sentencing.

Shields and his sister received $38,906 from the Federal Emer gency Management Agency and $10,553 from the American Red Cross after making false claims to the agencies in 2002 that they lived near Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan.

They actually lived in Greenwich, Conn., at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and the FEMA money was meant for rental or mortgage assistance to people who lived near the World Trade Center site.

And while the Shieldses later moved to Lower Manhattan following the attacks, the Red Cross assistance money was meant for victims who lived below Canal Street at the time of the attacks.

Court papers show the Shields siblings did not move to Lower Manhattan until October 2001.

Moreover, court records show the Shieldses were evicted from their Connecticut residence for nonpayment of rent, never used any of the FEMA money for their Manhattan apartment, and that they were “entirely delinquent” in rent from the time they moved in until they were evicted from that residence as well.

Scott Shields later moved to West Windsor.

Shields, who gave himself the rank of “captain,” had wowed the media and the public with his dramatic tales of mass rescues in New Orleans in 2005, and of his heroic K-9 work with his beloved dog Bear after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Some of the stories appeared in The Times.

The stories about Bear, who Shields said died in 2003 due to 9/11 injuries, led to the creation of a charitable foundation in the dog’s name and a book about his ex ploits as well. But the accounts eventually were called into question by many authorities and animal rescue specialists.

For example, Shields had claimed he and Bear found the most victims during the rescue efforts following 9/11.

But in 2007, retired New York City Police Lt. Dan Donadio, a former K9 officer whose teams led the Ground Zero recovery efforts, said he told Shields to leave the site during the initial hours of the recovery effort because Bear was not a trained rescue dog and might mislead emergency workers.

For background, see my comprehensive article and indexing of 30 blog postings/stories.

Is this dog abuser & convicted felon still on the take?

li.jpgScott Shields and his sister, Patty Shields, appeared before US District Judge Robert Sweet yesterday on Tuesday, October 14, 2008. The sentencing recommendations (seen here) had Scott Shields sentenced to 8 months in prison–then 3 years supervised release–with a requirement to make restitution of all the money plus an additional $300 and submit to mental health counseling. His sister Patty was sentenced to 12 months and one day, plus all that noted for Scott. The recommendations were followed for the most part, except that Patty’s sentence was reduced to 8 months.

In addition, the court decided to allow each felon to serve their sentences separately. Scott must report to Fort Dix, NJ’s Federal Minimum Security (country club type) Prison on November 12, 2008 to begin his time. And, during that time, Patty will remain free for the next 8 months, not needing to report for her prison sentence until Scott comes out. Unfortunately, that means she will be free to continue stealing monies through their bogus non-profit foundation. Obviously, the court had no comprehension of the fact that Scott and his sister have stolen far more money through the foundation than he did from FEMA and the Red Cross.

Many folks have been fighting for years for Scott to be investigated regarding his foundation monies, but to no avail. Many have filled out complaint forms with the state of NY regarding his foundation, but there has been no response. That is by far the bigger issue here as it allows both him and his sister to continue their criminal ways. Scott should be barred from ever being in a first responder role or in having such a nonprofit entity. How this can be achieved, however, is beyond my available knowledge.

It was interesting to see that within the ruling it was noted that Scott had a criminal record and that his current actions were so consistent with his con artist ways. Specifically, on April 25, 1990, Scott had been arrested on charges of Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud, and on October 24, 1990, was sentenced to 3 years probation and 6 months home confinement, as well as being required to make a $147,804 restitution and special assessment, in the US District Court for Connecticut.

Not only does it seem like Scott is continuing to get away with murder, but it is amazing to see the lack of media reporting on him and his purported good deeds through his foundation. It is hard to accept but I guess he’s gotten away with misappropriating hundreds of thousands from his nonprofit foundation, and via SSA disability and Workman’s Compensation with respect to his supposed Ground Zero injuries. It is sad to see the lack of response from the state of NY.

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It is hard to believe that it is already two years since I wrote the article, TRADING IN ON TRAGEDY FOR FAME: Succumbing to the Lure of Truthiness. In that article, I admitted to being taken in by this con-artist. I gave him a presence at my website, and collected over a thousand dollars for him (and his Golden Retriever Bear) through a raffle. But, that was not the true grievous aspect to my dealings with Shields.

Sadly, I learned that Scott was trying to build onto his 15 minutes of fame, but at the expense of his purportedly beloved Bear. Here was an animal who was quite senior in years at 12 years of age. An animal who had been injured by the dangerous metal debris on the pile. An animal that was used to either spending his summer days indoors in an air conditioned home or enjoying the cooling breezes off the Connecticut waters on Scott’s boat. But, tragically, now Bear was forced to walk the hot asphalt streets of the city day in and day out. Scott and Bear would venture out in the morning and continue until nighttime. Always dressed in his mock rescue outfit, embellished with numerous patches, with Bear sporting a bright orange rescue vest, Scott would seek out the folks who often frequented the area streets.

I was shocked to learn about what Bear was now being asked to endure, despite observers relating their own concerns about this to Scott. However, this fell on deaf ears despite the fact that Bear was reportedly now beginning to show outward signs of physical decline. So, I searched out veterinary health professionals in NYC that could possibly provide services for Bear. How excited I was when I learned of a woman who had a facility within blocks of Scott’s city residence, a facility that could provide hydrotherapy sessions for Bear. And, because Bear had been at Ground Zero, he would be given these quite expensive therapy appointments (over $100 per 30 minute session) at no charge. Excitedly, I relayed the great news to Scott, assuming that he would not delay in setting up appointments for Bear. Knowing how Bear loved the water, I thought this would be just perfect for him.

But, who could have predicted what happened next? Who knew that the reality of who Scott really was would finally hit home? You see, I was later contacted by the hydrotherapist who indicated that Scott had not come in for his scheduled appointments and no matter how often they were rescheduled for him, he just always failed to show. Obviously taking a huge financial loss in keeping these hours open for Scott, she finally had to sever this generous offer.

I contacted Scott who was unable to deny any of this. The man who was so concerned about his wonderful Bear just didn’t want to take the time away from parading up and down the streets. I guess it just wasn’t that important in the scheme of things. Such blatant disregard and neglect was beyond my comprehension, and I felt humiliated about having presented his story as an honest one. And although I removed every mention of Scott Shields and Bear from my site in the summer of 2002, the stench still remained.

DEATH SPRINGS ETERNAL
I continued to be updated about Scott’s sordid story, learning that Bear died on September 23, 2002, at almost 13 years of age. The proceedings following his death were filmed, as was his funeral. And, while it is not on film, and certainly only hearsay, I heard that Scott’s sister incongruously asked, “What do we do now? He’s dead.”

In my naiveté I could not even begin to fathom what was to be set in motion. I thought Scott would pocket the memories from his small brush with fame, and go on his way. But, just the opposite occurred. This silly man’s claims of having the most celebrated dog were actually being taken seriously. And, it appeared that the prodigious firm of Proskauer Rose LLP was also taken in by this man—despite his repeated evictions, poor business practices & bankruptcy—affording him even more credibility in their formation of his foundation in Bear’s memory.

Unfortunately, I’ve had difficulty generating mainstream interest in this story, and Scott has caused irreparable damage to the typically unheralded Search & Rescue heroes who are always there for us at devastating urban disasters …. such as that at Ground Zero following the infamous 9/11 attacks. And, he has continued to take money from unsuspecting folks as he touts his purported heroic deeds at trade shows, elementary & middle schools, Boy Scout Group meetings, and more.

Besides his theft of government funds, mail fraud & conspiracy to defraud the US after receiving almost $50,000 from FEMA and the American Red Cross, Scott Shields has collected years of disability for his purported Ground Zero injuries. Funny, how despite a claim of breaking both knees and an ankle, that he was doing just fine about a month later while walking behind Hilary Clinton in the October 8, 2001 Columbus Day parade.

Lt Dan Donadio, head of the NYPD’s canine teams in 2001, had 25 teams on the site round the clock for nine long months, scraping through the pulverized concrete. Scott Shields was down at Ground Zero for a little over a day, but managed to spin his experience into an epic. And, always on the look-out for the next big disaster, he further tried to benefit from the Katrina disaster.

Shields claimed 847 live rescues, evacuating under 6000 people, and that 11,000 people are alive today because of his group. Yet, rescuers who were there indicated the following: “His numbers exceed the entire 82nd Airborne’s numbers including the Superdome evacuation. So even if he took credit for all of their hard work, his numbers are still an aberration. … Scott was escorted out of LA and was on the water only ONE DAY. I spoke to the Chief and Superintendent of NOPD. They told me they never heard of Scott and there was NO WAY he rescued 5,000 or 11,000. … In those pictures, if you look, he is in shorts and just shoes, looks like he is on vacation while everyone else has knee pads on and is working, and that was just at camp.”

I have learned that the true heroes out there are not easily found. They do not do this job for the fanfare. They do not have media agents working on getting them mentioned in endless news articles. They are not obsessed with gaining notoriety. In fact, they’d rather not be in the spotlight. Rather, they struggle and train and work hard because they can, because they know they can help a fellow human being. These folks are a gifted bunch, and we do depend on their spirit of giving . . . for that time when it may be our lives hanging in the balance.

Self-Proclaimed 9/11 Hero Scott Shields Sentenced

li.jpg

SEE IMPORTANT UPDATE TO THIS POST HERE.

Scott will appear before US District Judge Robert Sweet in courtroom 18c (United States Courthouse: 500 Pearl St., Room 1920, New York, NY 10007) on Tuesday, September 14, 2008. My disability keeps me homebound much of the time so I’d love to hear from anyone who believes they may be in the courtroom for this long-awaited event.

The sentencing recommendations, however, have already been made (and most likely agreed upon). I have reproduced the 17 page (pdf) finding which folks can see by clicking here.

Essentially, Scott Shields was sentenced to 8 months in prison, then 3 years supervised release, and is required to make restitution of all the money plus an additional $300, as well as submit to mental health counseling. His sister Patty was sentenced to 12 months and one day, plus all that noted for Scott.

The ruling also noted that on April 25, 1990, Scott had been arrested on charges of Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud, and on October 24, 1990, was sentenced to 3 years probation and 6 months home confinement, as well as being required to make a $147,804 restitution and special assessment, in the US District Court for Connecticut. I guess once a conman, always a conman.

Unfortunately, there is no mention of the even greater sum of money that Scott has misappropriated from his nonprofit foundation. Nor, is there any mention of the monies taken, over several years, via SSA disability and Workman’s Compensation with respect to his supposed Ground Zero injuries.

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It is hard to believe that it is already two years since I wrote the article, TRADING IN ON TRAGEDY FOR FAME: Succumbing to the Lure of Truthiness. Unfortunately, I’ve had difficulty generating mainstream interest in this story, and Scott has caused irreparable damage to the typically unheralded Search & Rescue heroes who are always there for us at devastating urban disasters …. such as that at Ground Zero following the infamous 9/11 attacks. And, he has continued to take money from unsuspecting folks as he touts his purported heroic deeds at trade shows, elementary & middle schools, Boy Scout Group meetings, and more.

Besides his theft of government funds, mail fraud & conspiracy to defraud the US after receiving almost $50,000 from FEMA and the American Red Cross, Scott Shields has collected years of disability for his purported Ground Zero injuries. Funny, how despite a claim of breaking both knees and an ankle, that he was doing just fine about a month later while walking behind Hilary Clinton in the October 8, 2001 Columbus Day parade.

Lt Dan Donadio, head of the NYPD’s canine teams in 2001, had 25 teams on the site round the clock for nine long months, scraping through the pulverized concrete. Scott Shields was down at Ground Zero for a little over a day, but managed to spin his experience into an epic. And, always on the look-out for the next big disaster, he further tried to benefit from the Katrina disaster.

Shields claimed 847 live rescues, evacuating under 6000 people, and that 11,000 people are alive today because of his group. Yet, rescuers who were there indicated the following: “His numbers exceed the entire 82nd Airborne’s numbers including the Superdome evacuation. So even if he took credit for all of their hard work, his numbers are still an aberration. … Scott was escorted out of LA and was on the water only ONE DAY. I spoke to the Chief and Superintendent of NOPD. They told me they never heard of Scott and there was NO WAY he rescued 5,000 or 11,000. … In those pictures, if you look, he is in shorts and just shoes, looks like he is on vacation while everyone else has knee pads on and is working, and that was just at camp.”

I have learned that the true heroes out there are not easily found. They do not do this job for the fanfare. They do not have media agents working on getting them mentioned in endless news articles. They are not obsessed with gaining notoriety. In fact, they’d rather not be in the spotlight. Rather, they struggle and train and work hard because they can, because they know they can help a fellow human being. These folks are a gifted bunch, and we do depend on their spirit of giving . . . for that time when it may be our lives hanging in the balance.

I Cannot believe this is still going on! — UPDATED

SEE IMPORTANT OCTOBER 15, 2008 UPDATE HERE.

OCTOBER 6, 2008 UPDATE
As you may know Scott Shields is scheduled to be sentenced on October 14, 2008 (next Tuesday). The Assistant US Attorney handling the case is soliciting witnesses to testify at the sentencing hearing to rebut Scott’s testimony.

If you would like to participate it is suggested that you contact:

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) ; jenna.dabbs@usdoj.gov

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The following entry was originally written in late May but now I’ve bumped it up given the following comment that was made yesterday by M. Dilworth:

I was at a flea market in Nutley, NJ today (7/13/2008), and this con-man was taking donations after telling tall stories about what he and his dog did at the WTC site following 9/11, and at Katrina. We knew after watching him for a few minutes, something was not right. That didn’t stop him from pointing to the donation box and taking people’s money. What a scam artist!

li.jpgSentencing for convicted federal felon Scott Shields WAS slated for June 27, 2008 at 4pm. Scott was to appear before US District Judge Robert Sweet in courtroom 18c (United States Courthouse: 500 Pearl St., Room 1920, New York, NY 10007).

Well, that is no longer the case. From shortly after 9/11 to now October 14, 2008, the man will remain free on bond as he awaits sentencing.

For some unidentified reason, Scott’s attorney has been terminated and now a new attorney (Joel Stein) has been assigned. As a consequence, the sentencing date has been moved to October 14, 2008. Sadly, it seems like closure will never come.

My disability keeps me homebound much of the time so I’d love to hear from anyone who believes they may be in the courtroom for this long-awaited event. This is the preliminary control date for sentencing so I will be trying to confirm the final date when it does become available. I will not be surprised if it takes place even later than the end of June.

Obviously, those wheels of justice, turn very, very slowly. And, you know what that means? Through his bogus nonprofit foundation, Scott is left for almost 3 months to swindle more folks, tell his lies to more innocent children, and whatever else he does to support himself in his expensive Princeton townhouse (despite not working one day since before 9/11).

Please, just imagine how much money he has taken in through his foundation to have allowed such a lifestyle all this time. Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

You can catch up on this Golden Retriever abusing con-artist by clicking here.

Self-Proclaimed Hero Scott Shields: Lessons in Humility

SEE IMPORTANT OCTOBER 15, 2008 UPDATE HERE.

So much is going on right now, with a complicated election, touching us all. But the attacks on one’s character and patriotism have been particularly repugnant. It seems that within the divisiveness of McCain’s pursuit of the presidency, the integral constructs of both honesty and humility have been lost.

Matt Langdon, creator of the Hero Workshop program, recently asked the pivotal question, Is John McCain a Hero? Yet, he admits that “an American presidential election is not the place to look for the truth about people.”

McCain’s public persona is very much steeped in the idea that he is an American hero. He leads with his character out front and his service to his country right along side. So, what makes him a hero? McCain’s focus on character first is another possibility for claiming the hero status. His own words describe a desire to act as an example of honour and service for everyone, especially his children. Those same words describe some quiet, everyday heroic behaviour from one of his captors. And yet many would tell you McCain lacks those very qualities. In general, the POW/MIA activist community hates him as pointed out in depth in the Phoenix New Times. Patty O’Grady of University of Tampa lays the cards on the table with some open questions. Her father was in both prison camps that McCain was in.

  • In the interest of full disclosure why do you refuse to release your Department of Defense POW debriefing?
  • In the interest of full disclosure why have you failed to release all military medical records including psychological studies – 1973-1993?
  • Why do you only reference the time spent as a prisoner in the Hanoi Hilton”?
  • When will you provide details about the time spent in the prison referred to as “Plantation Gardens”?
  • Did you ever receive any preferential or atypical treatment while a POW in any location where you were held? How soon and when did you reveal your true identity to your Vietnamese captors – did you simply give name, rank and serial number?
  • Has any other former Vietnam Prisoners of War or Vietnam veteran questioned the record that you claim particularly your claims of “torture”?
  • What was your connection to the “Peace Committee”?
  • Have you ever referenced the “blue files” in any speech that you have given? What are the “blue files”? Where are those files housed? Why do you not want those files released?
  • Have you ever lost your temper with military families who challenged your position?
  • Have you ever acted in an inappropriate way or in a less than gentlemanly manner with any female spouse of any active duty military personnel member?

Eric Wattree says, “A hero is one who acts with nobility of purpose, and selflessly sacrifices his life, or places his life in imminent danger to promote the interests of the nation or his comrades. That doesn’t define McCain…”

In Dr. Mark Strom’s chapter, Humility, from the 2003 book, The Seven Heavenly Virtues of Leadership, he discusses humanity with nobility:

Clearly, humility does not exist in isolation from the other virtues, qualities and arts of leadership. When it comes to leadership there is perhaps one characteristic manner of being that stands out as the natural twin of humility. Humility and nobility. Humility with nobility:

Honor is not the same as public acclaim. Virtue is not determined in moments of public attention to our behavior. Courage, devotion, compassion, humility — all the noble human qualities — are not practiced in pursuit of public approval. They are means to much nobler ends. And they are ends in themselves. Senator John McCain

According to the Concise Macquarie Dictionary, to be noble is to be: Admirable in dignity of conception, or in manner of expression, execution, or composition; imposing in appearance; stately; magnificent; of an admirably high quality.

We are not talking about nobility in the sense of ranks made elite by birth or decree, but of nobility of purpose, and of a personal bearing that befits that purpose.

While I believe the Senator’s statement is merely words put to paper, rather than revealing his true character, Dr. Strom’s article in its entirety is a MUST-READ. I particularly enjoyed his discussion of humility as it relates to other virtues and qualities.

Humility needs to be seen in relationship to our other virtues and qualities. It is inward looking in a way most other virtues are not. Humility is a stance I take towards myself before it is a stance I take towards others. With the possible exception of integrity, the other virtues are mostly a stance we take towards others and the wider challenges of life. I’m not saying that humility is the most important. The virtues need to be seen as interdependent. Each needs to be seen in the light of the others. Humility without compassion, courage or integrity is hollow. Without humility the other virtues may become parodies: Compassion without humility is likely to be patronising. Courage without humility is likely to be foolhardy. Humour without humility is likely to be cruel. Integrity without humility is likely to be self-righteous. Passion without humility is likely to be overbearing. Wisdom without humility is likely to be pompous.

Tim Dickinson, in his breathtaking new MUST-READ October 2008 Rolling Stone article, Make-Believe Maverick: A closer look at the life and career of John McCain reveals a disturbing record of recklessness and dishonesty, has truly addressed the character of this man. His lead anecdote and beginning “McCAIN FIRST” story premise frame the tale perfectly:

This is the story of the real John McCain, the one who has been hiding in plain sight. It is the story of a man who has consistently put his own advancement above all else, a man willing to say and do anything to achieve his ultimate ambition: to become commander in chief, ascending to the one position that would finally enable him to outrank his four-star father and grandfather.

It seems that this backdrop so perfectly frames a story that I have been pursuing since shortly after September 11, 2001, as we were jolted by a coordinated attack upon our country—carried out by nineteen hijackers who took control of four commercial airliners. It is hard to believe that it is already two years since I wrote the article, TRADING IN ON TRAGEDY FOR FAME: Succumbing to the Lure of Truthiness. And, looking at this title, it is spookily prescient when we look at the McCain campaign’s incessant POW story push.

But my article is one that detailed a sad case of 9/11 fraud from self-proclaimed Search & Rescue hero, Scott Shields. While I do not believe that the wheels of justice will ever turn in this case, sentencing is scheduled to proceed at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on October 14, 2008. Unfortunately, I’ve had difficulty generating mainstream interest in this story, and Mr. Shields has caused irreparable damage to the typically unheralded Search & Rescue heroes who are always there for us at devastating urban disasters …. such as that at Ground Zero following the infamous 9/11 attacks. And, he has continued to take money from unsuspecting folks as he touts his purported heroic deeds at trade shows, elementary & middle schools, Boy Scout Group meetings, and more.

Besides his theft of government funds, mail fraud & conspiracy to defraud the US after receiving almost $50,000 from FEMA and the American Red Cross, Scott Shields continues to collect disability for his Ground Zero injuries. Interestingly, despite claims of breaking both knees and an ankle, he was doing just fine about a month later while walking behind Hilary Clinton in the October 8, 2001 Columbus Day parade.

Lt Dan Donadio, head of the NYPD’s canine teams in 2001, had 25 teams on the site round the clock for nine long months, scraping through the pulverized concrete. Scott Shields was down at Ground Zero for a little over a day, but managed to spin his experience into an epic. And, always on the look-out for the next big disaster, he further tried to benefit from the Katrina disaster.

Mr. Shields claimed 847 live rescues, evacuating under 6000 people, and that 11,000 people are alive today because of his group. Yet, rescuers who were there indicated the following: “His numbers exceed the entire 82nd Airborne’s numbers including the Superdome evacuation. So even if he took credit for all of their hard work, his numbers are still an aberration.” … Scott was escorted out of LA and was on the water only ONE DAY. I spoke to the Chief and Superintendent of NOPD. They told me they never heard of Scott and there was NO WAY he rescued 5,000 or 11,000. … In those pictures, if you look, he is in shorts and just shoes, looks like he is on vacation while everyone else has knee pads on and is working, and that was just at camp.”

I have learned that the true heroes out there are not easily found. They do not do this job for the fanfare. They do not have media agents working on getting them mentioned in endless news articles. They are not obsessed with gaining notoriety. In fact, they’d rather not be in the spotlight. Rather, they struggle and train and work hard because they can, because they know they can help a fellow human being. These folks are a gifted bunch, and we do depend on their spirit of giving . . . for that time when it may be our lives hanging in the balance.

Convicted Felon Scott Shields outsmarts the system again

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SEE IMPORTANT OCTOBER 15, 2008 UPDATE HERE.

Sentencing for convicted federal felon Scott Shields WAS slated for June 27, 2008 at 4pm. Scott was to appear before US District Judge Robert Sweet in courtroom 18c (United States Courthouse: 500 Pearl St., Room 1920, New York, NY 10007).

Well, that is no longer the case. From shortly after 9/11 to now October 14, 2008, the man will remain free on bond as he awaits sentencing.

For some unidentified reason, Scott’s attorney has been terminated and now a new attorney (Joel Stein) has been assigned. As a consequence, the sentencing date has been moved to October 14, 2008. Sadly, it seems like closure will never come.

My disability keeps me homebound much of the time so I’d love to hear from anyone who believes they may be in the courtroom for this long-awaited event. This is the preliminary control date for sentencing so I will be trying to confirm the final date when it does become available. I will not be surprised if it takes place even later than the end of June.

Obviously, those wheels of justice, turn very, very slowly. And, you know what that means? Through his bogus nonprofit foundation, Scott is left for almost 3 months to swindle more folks, tell his lies to more innocent children, and whatever else he does to support himself in his expensive Princeton townhouse (despite not working one day since before 9/11).

Please, just imagine how much money he has taken in through his foundation to have allowed such a lifestyle all this time. Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

You can catch up on this Golden Retriever abusing con-artist by clicking here.

Felon Scott Shields … from shortly after 9/11 to June 27th

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SEE IMPORTANT OCTOBER 15, 2008 UPDATE HERE.

Sentencing for convicted federal felon Scott Shields isn’t slated until June 27, 2008 at 4pm. Scott will be appearing before US District Judge Robert Sweet in courtroom 18c (United States Courthouse: 500 Pearl St., Room 1920, New York, NY 10007).

My disability keeps me homebound much of the time so I’d love to hear from anyone who believes they may be in the courtroom for this long-awaited event. This is the preliminary control date for sentencing so I will be trying to confirm the final date when it does become available. I will not be surprised if it takes place even later than the end of June.

Obviously, those wheels of justice, turn very, very slowly. And, you know what that means? Through his bogus nonprofit foundation, Scott is left for almost 3 months to swindle more folks, tell his lies to more innocent children, and whatever else he does to support himself in his expensive Princeton townhouse (despite not working one day since before 9/11).

Please, just imagine how much money he has taken in through his foundation to have allowed such a lifestyle all this time. Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

You can catch up on this Golden Retriever abusing con-artist by clicking here.

Golden Retriever Abuser Scott Shields … 3rd Boob down

SEE IMPORTANT OCTOBER 15, 2008 UPDATE HERE.

Okay, I just could not resist. I just received a pdf copy of an article that cannot be found online but that made the Late City Final Edition of the New York Post on March 30th. It was written by Philip Recchia, a reporter who broke the news initially in an article from September 25, 2006: FRAUD PROBE HOUNDS RESCUER.

I simply love the title: From hero to heel: 9/11 ‘fraud’ ripped off 50G and the photo caption that so aptly defines Shields as a “Ground Zero liar.”

Click on the reduced photo below to get the full take on how this article appeared this past Sunday, March 30th, and why I call this blog entry “3rd Boob down”.

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Convicted Felon & Golden Retriever Abuser Scott Shields — This reporter got it!

SEE IMPORTANT OCTOBER 15, 2008 UPDATE HERE.

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.

doc47f172bb0c946866573035.jpg

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!

Help keep Scott Shields from cheating anyone else

SEE IMPORTANT OCTOBER 15, 2008 UPDATE HERE.

I took my original (with some updates) TRADING IN ON TRAGEDY FOR FAME: Succumbing to the Lure of Truthiness article and created a PDF document from it.

Please feel free to print it out and share it with concerned citizens, members of the Search & Rescue and 1st Responder communities, dog lovers, etc. Just click below:

landofpuregold.com/scottshields.pdf

Please help keep this man from getting off ‘Scott Free’ – Updated

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.

Despite …
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) ; jenna.dabbs@usdoj.gov

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!

_____________________________________________________________

IMPORTANT UPDATE
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 lfm@amber.unisrv.net and at the website the email info@unisrv.net 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.

Breaking — now 2nd article details more of Shields’ guilty plea

SEE IMPORTANT OCTOBER 15, 2008 UPDATE HERE.

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!

Please see this article for the entire sordid tale.

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).

Fraud trial set for infamous 9/11 hero Scott Shields, aka Mr. Truthiness

SEE IMPORTANT OCTOBER 15, 2008 UPDATE HERE.

A Pretrial Conference was held on January 28, 2008 and the following minutes for the proceedings, held before Judge Robert W. Sweet, were provided by Court Reporter Carol Ganley [so entered into the record on 1/30/2008]:

Scott Shields present with attorney Jonathan Marks. Defendant Patty Shields present with attorney Peggy Cross. AUSA Jenna Dabbs present. Trial scheduled for 4/7/08. Time stopped 1/28/08 to 4/7/08 in the interest of justice. Defendants continued on bail as previously set.

For those folks lucky enough not to have been tricked out of their money or bamboozled by Scott Shields, you may need a little refresher about this 9/11 con artist.


An almost 12-year-old Bear at the WTC’s Ground Zero
A SENIOR WHO HAD NO TRAINING

I have a story to tell. A story I have not wanted to even whisper about. It has stayed with me for over four years. While Scott Shields—the central character in this sordid tale—has, and continues to, deceive many unsuspecting souls, it shames me to even have to acknowledge that I, too, fell victim. Yet, I am hopeful that its readers will come to see that bigger, far more important matters, are at issue here. Certainly, far bigger than my wounded pride. ~ Rochelle Lesser, September 26, 2006

1. Copy of Federal Indictment of Scott Shields can be accessed here.

2. Incriminating Video

3. Eyewitness account from NYPD K9 Lt.

4. Co-Author Sets the Story Straight

5. Story Updates (to original Trading in on Tragedy For Fame: Succumbing to the Lure of Truthiness article)

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The following article speaks to the continuing crackdown on those who have tried to defraud the government with respect to 9/11 related claims. However, I wonder if that continues as the article is an ancient 4+ years old.

More Arrests Made In 9/11 Fraud Cases
By EDWARD WYATT, New York Times, April 11, 2003

A continuing crackdown on people who have attempted to defraud federal relief programs and private charities related to the 9/11 attack has resulted in the recent arrests of 33 people, who together falsely claimed nearly $135,000 in government and charitable funds, prosecutors said yesterday.

The arrests bring to 245 the number of people charged with crimes related to World Trade Center fraud, said Robert M. Morgenthau, the Manhattan district attorney. Those cases resulted in about $3.6 million in fraudulent claims.

”These cases are important not because such a huge amount of money is involved,” Mr. Morgenthau said, ”but because we want to make sure that people understand you can’t take advantage of a national tragedy.” …

The district attorney also announced the arrest of 11 people, including a 911 operator for the Police Department and two school crossing guards, who were charged with falsely applying for relief benefits by saying that they had lost jobs because of the terror attack.

________________

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No trial on Monday: Scott Shields has more time to defraud the public

SEE IMPORTANT OCTOBER 15, 2008 UPDATE HERE.

Why am I not surprised? Doesn’t it figure that Scott’s federal indictment trial would be postponed yet again? Just more time for him to defraud the public. Patty Shields’ public defender has asked to postpone the trial yet again, now for two weeks. The ominous part, however, is the reference from the attorneys of wanting to dispose of the case without a trial. There is no new re-scheduling of the trial at this point. Click here to see the official federal court document.

For those folks lucky enough not to have been tricked out of their money or bamboozled by Scott Shields, you may need a little refresher about this 9/11 con artist.


An almost 12-year-old Bear at the WTC’s Ground Zero
A SENIOR WHO HAD NO TRAINING

I have a story to tell. A story I have not wanted to even whisper about. It has stayed with me for over four years. While Scott Shields—the central character in this sordid tale—has, and continues to, deceive many unsuspecting souls, it shames me to even have to acknowledge that I, too, fell victim. Yet, I am hopeful that its readers will come to see that bigger, far more important matters, are at issue here. Certainly, far bigger than my wounded pride. ~ Rochelle Lesser, September 26, 2006

1. Copy of Federal Indictment of Scott Shields can be accessed here.

2. Incriminating Video

3. Eyewitness account from NYPD K9 Lt.

4. Co-Author Sets the Story Straight

5. Story Updates (to original Trading in on Tragedy For Fame: Succumbing to the Lure of Truthiness article)

_____________________________________________________________

The following article speaks to the continuing crackdown on those who have tried to defraud the government with respect to 9/11 related claims. However, I wonder if that continues as the article is an ancient 4+ years old.

More Arrests Made In 9/11 Fraud Cases
By EDWARD WYATT, New York Times, April 11, 2003

A continuing crackdown on people who have attempted to defraud federal relief programs and private charities related to the 9/11 attack has resulted in the recent arrests of 33 people, who together falsely claimed nearly $135,000 in government and charitable funds, prosecutors said yesterday.

The arrests bring to 245 the number of people charged with crimes related to World Trade Center fraud, said Robert M. Morgenthau, the Manhattan district attorney. Those cases resulted in about $3.6 million in fraudulent claims.

”These cases are important not because such a huge amount of money is involved,” Mr. Morgenthau said, ”but because we want to make sure that people understand you can’t take advantage of a national tragedy.” …

The district attorney also announced the arrest of 11 people, including a 911 operator for the Police Department and two school crossing guards, who were charged with falsely applying for relief benefits by saying that they had lost jobs because of the terror attack.

________________

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Scott Shields gets to Defraud the People for a bit longer

SEE IMPORTANT OCTOBER 15, 2008 UPDATE HERE.

Why am I not surprised? Doesn’t it figure that Scott’s federal indictment trial would be postponed? Just what he needs, more time to defraud the public. Patty Shields’ public defender has asked to postpone the trial, because she just took over the case from the previous attorney that left the public defenders office. She also notes in the letter that the trial will conflict with the National Orientation for new Public Defenders which she will attend. Now, the case is slated for some time in January. Click here to see the official federal court document.

For those folks lucky enough not to have been tricked out of their money or bamboozled by Scott Shields, you may need a little refresher about this 9/11 con artist.


An almost 12-year-old Bear at the WTC’s Ground Zero
A SENIOR WHO HAD NO TRAINING

I have a story to tell. A story I have not wanted to even whisper about. It has stayed with me for over four years. While Scott Shields—the central character in this sordid tale—has, and continues to, deceive many unsuspecting souls, it shames me to even have to acknowledge that I, too, fell victim. Yet, I am hopeful that its readers will come to see that bigger, far more important matters, are at issue here. Certainly, far bigger than my wounded pride. ~ Rochelle Lesser, September 26, 2006

1. Copy of Federal Indictment of Scott Shields can be accessed here.

2. Incriminating Video

3. Eyewitness account from NYPD K9 Lt.

4. Co-Author Sets the Story Straight

5. Story Updates (to original Trading in on Tragedy For Fame: Succumbing to the Lure of Truthiness article)

Scott Shields: in less than 20 words, so many lies – Updated

SEE IMPORTANT OCTOBER 15, 2008 UPDATE HERE.

How does a man under federal indictment keep getting away with the telling of lies and even get himself invited to a function from the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, with Golden Retriever loving Governor Rendell in attendence, to speak about himself and his heroic deeds from 9/11?

Click here to read the indictment so that you can wonder too.

This comes from Nancy West, Scott’s book’s co-author:

CO-AUTHOR SEEKS TO SET RECORD STRAIGHT
Letters to the Editor, August 29, 2006, Packet Online, Princeton, NJ

TO THE EDITOR: There have been many erroneous facts, as well as misleading information printed in news and television articles about Scott Shields and his dog, Bear (TIMEOff, Aug. 25). I hope the following helps both readers and the media who may be interested in gaining greater knowledge of Bear’s true story:

1. Scott Shields refers to himself as “captain” because that is what others called him for many years on the waterfront in New York and Connecticut. This does not refer to any military or authoritative rank.
2. Scott has emergency management training, but he and Bear did not have “official” or “professional” search and rescue training.
3. Bear did not accompany Scott to the World Trade Center to do search work. He was there because he was always at Scott’s side.
4. Bear is not credited with making any live finds by a dog at the WTC.
5. Bear did not find more victims than any other rescuer or canine. Many official search and rescue canine teams stayed and worked for weeks after Bear left. Presumably, these teams made many sad discoveries.
6. Scott and Bear did not work at the Oklahoma City bombing rescue and recovery mission.
7. Scott and Bear did not respond to the earthquake in Turkey.
8. Theodorable is not Bear’s son. At this time, Theodore is not a trained search and rescue dog. Theodore has been made an honorary “mascot” in the Coast Guard Auxiliary. He is not a Coast Guard SAR canine.

Nancy West, Hero Dog Publications, Broadway, Thornwood, N.Y.
The writer is co-author and co-publisher with Scott Shields of “Bear: Heart of a Hero.”

I honestly doubt that Scott believes the repeated lies that he has put out in the media. But with the lies firmly entrenched due to poor fact-checking, it is confusing for people to truly understand who is right. How could it be possible that a man would receive proclamations and be listed in the legislature’s records for his proud deeds, when they never occurred? How could people listen to his repeated assertions of ‘Bear found the most, did the most, had the most live finds by a dog’, and not believe in his rightful place in history? How could one come away from the nearly 1500 ‘results’ from a Google Search of Bear Search and Rescue Foundation without believing in his credibility?

I guess it is the same way that despite presidential press conferences and several government documents including those from the 9/11 Commission, a recent New York Times/CBS Poll reveals that almost one-third of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 terror attacks. And, while the White House credits some of the confusion to former CIA Director George Tenet, I guess it makes sense that Bush went on in 2004 to award him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It must be a function of the medals Scott has received.

But, one only needs to remember what was the ultimate tragedy at Ground Zero . . . which was this. Despite the many brave firefighters and rescue professionals sadly risking their lives—and as we now learn their health—there were no live finds by a dog. The rescue effort quickly became one of recovery. How that elemental piece of information could be lost is simply beyond comprehension.

During those many months that Scott was seeking publicity so that he could detail the amazing work of his Bear, he came to speak to many groups, including that of our most impressionable youth. Think about the layers of deception in the following statement that he matter-of-factly made (on tape) to a group of boy scouts:

Now, as you listen below, let me count the lies―that in 17 seconds and less than 20 words―Scott managed to tell.

1. There is no factual information to support that Bear was the first dog inside the World Trade Center. The area involved in the attack was quite extensive and in a state of chaos. There is no way to determine whether dogs entered from another area or when they specifically entered.

2. Bear never received any formal dog training of any sort. That is, he attended no obedience, agility, or specific working dog training classes. He never received formal Search and Rescue Dog training, nor is he certified as a Search and Rescue Dog (with a record of scoring on respective examinations, etc.) .

3. Bear was on the pile for merely two days. Formal canine teams were on the premises far longer and would be expected to make many finds, albeit not of live persons.

4. THERE WERE NO LIVE FINDS MADE BY A DOG.

5. As there were no live finds made by a dog, how was it possible that Bear went beyond that and found “the most live people”?

DON’T LET THIS MAN CONTINUE WITH HIS LIES AND CONTINUE TO SOLICIT FUNDS FROM UNSUSPECTING PEOPLE.

HE WILL HAVE 15,000 SUCH PERSONS AT THE PITTSBURGH PET EXPO IF NO ONE CAN RAISE ENOUGH FUSS.

UPDATE: Well, something worked. The Pittsburgh Pet Expo is not allowing this man to be involved with their event!! One for the good guys.

Another 9/11 Survival Tale to rival that of Scott Shields’ – Updated

It was interesting to see this story make it to the front page of the New York Times yesterday.

Tania Head’s story, as shared over the years with reporters, students, friends and hundreds of visitors to ground zero, was a remarkable account of both life and death. She had, she said, survived the terror attack on the World Trade Center despite having been badly burned when the plane crashed into the upper floors of the south tower.

Crawling through the chaos and carnage on the 78th floor that morning, she said, she encountered a dying man who handed her his inscribed wedding ring, which she later returned to his widow.

Her own life was saved, she said, by a selfless volunteer who stanched the flames on her burning clothes before she was helped down the stairs. It was a journey she said she had the strength to make because she kept thinking of a beautiful white dress she was to wear at her coming marriage ceremony to a man named Dave. But later she would discover, she said, that Dave, her fiancé, and in some versions her husband, had perished in the north tower.

The problem is, no part of her story can be verified and much of the information that this woman has provided about herself has proven to be false. Interestingly, she has not profited monetarily from these claims. Yet, she has coveted the power that comes from her newfound recognition since the tragedy.

The problem with the situation with Scott Shields is, that his actions have cost the federal government a great deal of money, and he continues to mislead folks and solicit funds for his own foundation. And, yet, his story never makes it to the New York Times despite being carried in many other lesser known, more regional newspapers.

SEE IMPORTANT OCTOBER 15, 2008 UPDATE HERE.

________________________________________

To get folks up to speed, here is some info from a previous entry:

bearatrest.jpg

This photo shows an almost 12-year-old “Bear” during his 1 1/2 days on the pile at the World Trade Center’s Ground Zero. Old Scott and his old dog Bear were asked to leave then by Lt. Dan Donadio, head of the NYPD’s canine unit, due to their not being qualified.

It should be noted that dogs of this age would never be allowed into an urban disaster site, given the inherent danger of the situation. Urban Search & Rescue dogs must have specialized agility training and continually train to remain in working shape. They are typically retired as they approach 8 to 9 years of age.

The entire ugly tale can be found here:
TRADING IN ON TRAGEDY FOR FAME: Succumbing to the Lure of Truthiness.

But, the saga continues as evidenced in this July 15th New York Post article from Brad Hamilton and Ginger Otis, 9/11 ‘HERO’ CHARGED IN 40G SCAM

A self-proclaimed Ground Zero hero who says he and his golden retriever rescued victims from the World Trade Center rubble has been charged with fraud for allegedly ripping off $40,000 in federal relief funds. Scott Shields could face up to 35 years in jail after a Manhattan grand jury indicted him and his sister last month for allegedly swiping rental-assistance money from FEMA and other agencies.

Shields showed up in the days after the attack, accompanied by Bear, his cancer-stricken canine, but the dog was too sick to do any real work, and he two were on hand only for “a couple of days,” according to a former NYPD officer.

That part is not quite right. Bear was not cancer-stricken when he initially went onto the pile for two days in September 2001, and thereby “too sick to do any real work”. He was untrained and almost 12 years of age. No untrained dog would have been allowed into a situation that required advanced agility skills. And, certainly no working dog in urban search and rescue is on active status at such a senior age.

“There’s something wrong with the guy,” said Lt. Dan Denadio, who as head of the NYPD’s K-9 unit spent nine months at Ground Zero. “I don’t know how he got so far.”

Shields claims he and Bear “made the only live finds” at the site. “Nonsense,” Denadio said.

After his brief stint on the pile, Shields, who had resided in Greenwich, Conn., moved into an apartment across from the site – a swanky $3,182-a-month pad on Rector Place – and got one check for $16,443.50 from FEMA to pay for it, records show.

Shields collected thousands in additional rental assistance, the indictment says.

This copy of the felony indictment clearly displays the depth of the case that the US has against this brother and sister team. Although my legal knowledge is extremely limited, the 3 detailed counts of the indictment seem quite extensive and well documented. I can see by looking up the actual violations (through Title 18, Sections 641, 1341, 2) why the punishments are so steep.

Further court documents from Pacer indicate that Scott was arrested on March 20, 2007 and was freed on $50,000 bail with travel restricted to NY, NJ, PA, CT, NH & VA. Sadly, he is still traveling the circuit of dog, boat & security show events–providing presentations to both children and adults and peddling his version of the truth.

The last addition to Scott’s case file shows a Memo Endorsement that was reviewed by the court on June 18th, and so entered and approved on July 2, 2007. It seems that bail conditions were modified to include a mental health assessment and mental health counseling.

The trial is set for November 5, 2007, Federal Judge Robert W. Sweet hearing the case of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. SCOTT SHIELDS, and PATRICIA SHIELDS, Defendants.

___________________________________________________

I fear no one is paying much attention to the fact that this man is under federal indictment. It must be the reason he continues to do gigs professing great knowledge in Search and Rescue, when he has no official training in the area.

Just look at this blurb about his upcoming presentation that he will be doing at the Pittsburgh Pet Expo on October 13-14:

The Search and Rescue Foundation
This is a Search and Rescue Organization based out of Connecticut. It was originally comprised of Capt. Scott Shields, who is the emergency management director for a New York-based private security company, and his rescue dog Bear. Captain Shields and Bear had been among the first emergency responders to reach ground zero. Shields and Bear, who is a golden retriever, worked 18-hour days, and Bear is credited with finding the most victims of all rescuers. More recently, they have been involved in the rescue efforts in New Orleans right after Hurricane Katrina. At the Pittsburgh Pet Expo Captain Shields and Theodore, who is Bear’s offspring, will be present and doing various safety demos and a Search and Rescue overview of the World Trade Center.

If you go to my page on Scott about truthiness, you will be able to see the multitude of lies in this one small paragraph. What is interesting is how he has gotten the person to not write out the name of his foundation as the Bear Search and Rescue Foundation so that it would not be picked up by folks, like myself, who look out for where he may be lying his way into another performance. You see, when we find out about these events, we call and let the folks there know the real story. And, then we ask them if they want a man speaking about the WTC who is under federal indictment for alleged acts of fraud with respect to 9/11. You can well imagine what their response is.

Please help us be sure that this man is not allowed to solicit monies at this event or provide demos in an area that clearly diminishes the true heroes and hard work that our honest search and rescue folks are known for.

Please let them know that this man is clearly not who he professes to be.

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UPDATE!!

I just read the following post at the Scott Shields Fraud Forum. We need more persons like this to speak their mind about what is going on:

Feel free to copy and send to Pittsburgh newspaper reporters or anyone else:

Dear ________ ,

ARE YOU AWARE THAT YOUR PRESENTER “CAPTAIN” SCOTT SHIELDS IS INDICTED FOR FEDERAL FRAUD?

Are you aware that Mr. Scott Shields and his sister Patty Shields are under Federal Indictment for FEMA Fraud (taking appox. $40,000 in 9/11 funds)? They have posted bond and are scheduled for trial in early November 2007? SEE:

US District Court – Southern District of NY
Case 1:07-cr-00320-RWS Document 15 Filed 04/17/2007

Are you aware how the scam works? Shields, a self-proclaimed hero and self-promoter, misrepresents himself to the public and to organizations in order to obtain awards and honors for himself and his dogs. He then uses these accolades to promote himself and seduce the public into giving money to his foundation.

Are you aware that Mr. Shields is not a “Captain”?

Are you aware that Mr. Shields was a volunteer at Ground Zero for less than three days and that he was not affiliated with any rescue organization?

Are you aware that Bear was NOT a trained search and rescue dog, he did NOT find the most victims and he did NOT find any live victims?

Are you aware that the publisher of Mr. Shields’ book Bear Heart of a Hero has removed it from stores, and it is no longer available for sale—except through used book sellers?

Are you aware that Mr. Shields’ co-author, Nancy West, has published a letter to readers on Amazon.com detailing misrepresentations about the book?

Are you aware that Dr. Jane Goodall removed her endorsement from this book?

Are you aware that Mr. Shields’ dog Theodore is not Bear’s offspring?

To investigate more about Mr. Shields and his sister and the a private foundation they operate (Bear Search and Rescue Foundation) contact: New York State Attorney General’s Office (Andrew Cuomo) 212-416-8000

To speak with Mr. Shields Pre-trial Officer call: 212-805-4100

UPDATE:  Well, something worked. The Pittsburgh Pet Expo is not allowing this man to be involved with their event!! One for the good guys.

Scott Shields: Just a victim of truthiness

SEE IMPORTANT OCTOBER 15, 2008 UPDATE HERE.

ohno.gifI marvel at Scott’s unique version of the truth in this July 19th news article at New Jersey On-Line.

You can also go here to blog about your opinions on the above article. I see that the first comment obviously came from a Shields supporter.

To learn more about this saga from its beginnings, just go to TRADING IN ON TRAGEDY FOR FAME: Succumbing to the Lure of Truthiness