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Post date: March 17 2014

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Guilty Plea By Former Assistant Manager Of Disability Services Center For Stealing Money From Disabled Residents

Scoharie ARC Staffer Samantha Cross Used Residents’ Funds To Purchase Cell Phones And Gift Cards For Personal Use

Schneiderman: Those Who Prey Upon Vulnerable New Yorkers Will Be Held Accountable

SCHOHARIE — Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced that today, Samantha Cross, 31, former assistant manager at Schoharie ARC – a center for individuals with disabilities – pled guilty to stealing money from disabled residents. Cross appeared before Judge Kennneth Knutsen, Schoharie Town Court Justice, and pled guilty to a second degree misdemeanor charge of falsifying business records after acknowledging stealing a total of $1,503. As part of the plea agreement, Ms. Cross will pay restitution for the funds that were stolen.

“Today’s guilty plea makes it clear that our office will hold individuals accountable when they prey upon the disabled,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “While theft is wrong in any setting, it is particularly egregious when it happens at the expensive of precious resources committed to helping the disabled.”

The criminal charges were brought against Ms. Cross by the Attorney General’s Office when it was discovered that residents’ personal allowance funds were being used for her personal benefit.  Ms. Cross acknowledged purchasing cell phones, calling cards, and iTunes gift cards for herself. The misconduct occurred between November 2011 and November 2012.

Cross was terminated from her position at ARC and will appear on an exclusion list, meaning she cannot be employed by a Medicaid provider – which includes most, if not all, agencies that provide services to the developmentally disabled. 

This matter was handled by the Attorney General’s Medicare Fraud Control Unit, led by Bureau Chief Amy Held. The Bureau is part of the Criminal Justice Division, led by Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan.