A financial counselor with the U.S. Army Reserves is facing numerous criminal charges for allegedly defrauding Gold Star families, according to the Justice Department.
Caz Craffy of Colts Neck, New Jersey, stands accused of swindling grieving family members out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in military benefits by executing trades using their money and earning himself around $1.4 million in commissions.
The 41-year-old suspect faces six counts of wire fraud, 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 as stated in court documents.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has also charged Craffy with violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws and Regulation’ Best Interest.
Mark A. Berman, his attorney representing him declined to comment on these claims.
“Predatory conduct that targets the families of fallen American service members will be met with the full force of the Justice Department” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement announcing the indictment against Craffy who used his position as a civilian employee working as a financial counselor with the Army’s Survivor Outreach Services program to get close to his alleged victims without disclosing his employment with two private financial firms.
Craffy convinced family members to transfer their six-figure benefits into brokerage accounts he managed outside his work with these private firms then engaged in risky trades that didn’t match their investment goals.
This resulted in significant market losses and commissions paid from which he personally profited off while they suffered immensely from losing large sums or all their money altogether, an action Garland deemed “shameful”.
While making this announcement last Friday before U.S Magistrate Judge Tonianne J Bongiovanni at Trenton Federal Courthouse where Craffy was expected to make an initial appearance afterward though no official word has been released yet regarding whether or not this happened or what came out if it did occur since then.