A former Army Reserves officer who worked as a financial counselor with the Army allegedly defrauded Gold Star families of their military loved one’s benefits, the Justice Department (DOJ) said Friday.
Caz Craffy, 41, a New Jersey resident, allegedly tricked the families into handing over hundreds of thousands of dollars.
He is charged with six counts of wire fraud and one count each of securities fraud, making false statements in a loan application, committing acts furthering a personal financial interest, and making false statements to a federal agency.
“Stealing from Gold Star families whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation is a shameful crime,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. “As alleged in the indictment, the defendant in this case used his position as an Army financial counselor to defraud Gold Star families, steal their money, and enrich himself.”
From May 2018 until around January 2023, Craffy obtained more than $9.9 million from Gold Star families to invest in accounts managed by him. He allegedly executed trades with authorization and the accounts eventually lost more than $3.4 million.
Meanwhile, Craffy earned more than $1.4 million in commissions that were drawn from the accounts, federal prosecutors said.
Craffy has also been charged with violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws and Regulation Best Interest by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Prosecutors said Craffy, while he was a major in the Army Reserves, used his position as a financial counselor with the Army to target the Gold Star families. Gold Star families are immediate relatives of a fallen military service member who died in a conflict.
When a military service member dies during active duty, the surviving beneficiary is entitled to $100,000 in death gratuities and life insurance of up to $400,000. Many of the families believed Craffy’s management of their money was on behalf of the Army authorization, prosecutors said.
Once the families transferred funds into brokerage accounts, Craffy engaged in high-risk trades without approval and lost them large amounts of money, authorities said.
Fox News Digital has reached out to Craffy’s attorney.
The post Army Reserves officer defrauded Gold Star families of death benefits: DOJ appeared first on lawyer.bet.