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Grant administrator settles for $500,000 over misuse of federal grant money

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  • Staff Report 

In Albany Victoria Shaw, the head of Wellcore, Inc., agreed to pay half a million dollars to settle allegations of misusing federal grants meant for drug prevention among youth.

Shaw and another official from Wellcore were accused of forging community leaders’ signatures on grant applications and then spending the funds on personal expenses, including legal fees, dining out, and home renovations. This settlement comes after an investigation by the United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman’s office, emphasizing the commitment to protect taxpayer dollars from fraud.

The misuse of the funds, intended for the Drug-Free Communities Support Program, was detailed in the settlement. Shaw admitted to using the grant money for personal gains, such as paying for a criminal-defense lawyer, gym memberships, and various personal luxuries.

This case, brought to light by the collaborative efforts of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, highlights the importance of safeguarding federal program integrity against fraudulent activities.