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County DSS Investigation Leads to Indictment of Troy Woman

11/6/2013 4:57:06 PM

County Executive McCoy cites investigators at the Department of Social Services for uncovering a large-scale fraud and identity theft case that led to the indictment of a Troy woman on multiple fraud and grand larceny charges.

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy today praised the team of investigators at the Department of Social Services (DSS) for their work to uncover a large-scale fraud and identity theft case that led to the indictment of a Troy woman in Albany County Supreme Court on multiple fraud and grand larceny charges.

According to the indictment, Shanell Gardner, 36, of Troy was charged with multiple felonies relating to welfare fraud, identity theft, grand larceny and criminal possession of a forged instrument and other crimes for allegedly obtaining in excess of $50,000 in welfare benefits administered by DSS. It is also alleged that Gardner stole the identity of a relative and claimed the relative was providing care to Gardner’s children when she was not.         

“Our investigators at DSS will continue to work these cases to make sure that people who commit fraud are prosecuted and that only those who need the benefits get them,” said McCoy. “At a time when every dollar counts, our DSS team is doing great work to bring these cases to the District Attorney’s office for prosecution. Our investigators are among the best in the state and they have saved the county millions of dollars in the past two years.”

The indictment also alleges that Gardner attempted to illegally obtain a mortgage from the Capital District Habitat for Humanity by offering forged documents from the US Postal Service that misrepresented her income and employment status.

According to the District Attorney’s office, Gardner was released under the supervision of the Albany County Probation Department.  

The indictment in this case is an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until proven guilty.

The investigation was conducted by of Albany County Child Care Fraud Investigator James Fiammetta, under the supervision of Welfare Fraud Unit Supervising Investigator Sean Hicks.        


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