ALBANY, N.Y. – A former employee of the U.S. Postal Service has been indicted on multiple fraud and grand larceny charges.
Shanell Gardner, 36, was in Albany County Supreme Court on Wednesday to be indicted by a Grand Jury.
Gardner is accused of wrongfully obtaining more than $50,000 in child care and food stamp benefits between March 2009 and August 2011. The Troy woman allegedly stole the identity of a relative and claimed the relative was providing care for her children, which was not true according to District Attorney Soares. The benefits were administered by the Albany County Department of Social Services.
Soares says Gardner collected the child care payments made out to the relative and also obtained food stamp benefits which she was not entitled to by concealing income.
The indictment also states that in July 2013, Gardner attempted to obtain residential mortgage valued more than $50,000 from the Capital District Habitat for Humanity. Soares says the woman forged three documents from the US Postal Service that falsely represented her income and employment status.
Gardner pleaded not guilty on Wednesday and was released under the supervision of the Albany County Probation Department.
Gardner was indicted on one Count of Welfare Fraud in the Second Degree, one Count of Identity Theft in the Second Degree, two Counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, one Count of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, three Counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, and one Count of Attempted Grand Larceny in the Second Degree. All charges are felonies.