A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arrest Of Former Assistant Manager Of Disability Services Center For Stealing Money From Disabled Residents
Scoharie ARC Staffer Samantha Cross Used Resident Funds For Cell Phones And Gift Cards
Schneiderman: Those Who Prey Upon Vulnerable New Yorkers Will Be Held Accountable
SCHOHARIE – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced that last night, Samantha Cross, 31, former Assistant Manager at Schoharie ARC – a center for individuals with disabilities – was arrested for stealing money from disabled residents. The Attorney General’s office charged Cross with using residents’ personal allowance funds to make purchases for her own personal benefit, including cell phones, calling cards, and iTunes gift cards. Cross was arraigned before Honorable Judge Kennneth Knutsen, Schoharie Town Court Justice, on one count of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E Felony, and one count of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E Felony.
“There are few acts more reprehensible than taking advantage of individuals with disabilities,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “The fact that these residents were victimized by the very person who had been entrusted with their care makes this even more disturbing. We’ll continue to hold people like Samantha Cross accountable and ensure that anyone who preys upon vulnerable New Yorkers is brought to justice.”
Between November 2011 and November 2012, Cross used her authority as an Assistant Manager to purchase four cellular telephones, 13 pre-paid calling cards, and two iTunes gift cards for herself by using residents’ funds. In Schoharie ARC accounting records, Cross reported that purchases were made on behalf of residents, none of whom owned or used a cellular telephone. Cross admitted that she used Schoharie ARC-issued credit cards to purchase a cell phone for her own use, two iTunes cards which she used to download music onto her own iTunes account, and groceries for herself and her family. In total, Cross used more than $1,000 worth of residents’ funds to make purchases without the permission of Schoharie ARC or its residents.
Cross faces a maximum sentence of one and one-third to four years in state prison. The charges against the defendant are accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case was investigated by Investigator John Jurs, Jr. and Investigator Jeffrey Haber, under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Dianne Tuffey, along with Associate Special Auditor/Investigator Sarah Finning under the supervision of Assistant Chief Auditor/Investigator Charles Norfleet.
The case is being prosecuted by the Albany Regional Office of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Office of the Attorney General. Special Assistant Attorney General Erin Lynch represented the people under the supervision of Regional Director Kathleen A. Boland, Regional Director and Chief of Criminal Investigations-Upstate Catherine Wagner, Acting Director General Amy Held, and Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.