A New Jersey grand jury indicted 41-year-old Caz Craffy, an Army Reserves major and an Army financial counselor, for allegedly defrauding two dozen gold star families.
Craffy was charged Thursday with 10 crimes, including six counts of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud. He is accused of running a criminal scheme that targeted the families of soldiers who died in military service.
"Stealing from gold star families whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation is a shameful crime," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a Friday press release.
"Predatory conduct that targets the families of fallen American service members will be met with the full force of the Justice Department," he added.
Per the DOJ's press release, Craffy allegedly used his position as a financial counselor to instruct gold star families, who typically receive a $100,000 death gratuity plus $400,000 of life insurance, to invest in accounts he managed, according to court documents and statements made in court.
From May 2018 to November 2022, he pocketed $1.4 million in commission from the roughly $9.9 million he received. Meanwhile, the gold star family accounts lost more than $3.4 million.
A profile on Craffy published by The Washington Post earlier this year first brought attention to the claims, with independent personal finance expert Carolyn McClanahan determining that a pattern of misuse was present in his investments.
"Those who prey on the family members of fallen soldiers will be sought out and held accountable," said Supervisory Special Agent in Charge Joel Kirch of the Army Criminal Investigation Division.
"The hard work, long hours, and dedication of our partners within the Task Force, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, and our own investigative analyst, resulted in this investigation’s swift resolution," he said.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.