Shock: Surviving Army Families Defrauded By Corrupt Counselor

The grief faced by the families of military members who lose their lives in the line of duty is unimaginable. But in a shocking twist, a former U.S. Army financial counselor was accused of cheating the Gold Star military families out of life insurance premiums. 

On Tuesday, prosecutors accepted a guilty plea from 41-year-old Caz Craffy of Colts Neck, New Jersey. Authorities believed he ripped off the families of slain service members for over $9.9 million.

Surviving family members of military personnel who lose their lives in the line of duty are eligible for a $100,000 payment. They are also set to receive up to $400,000 in a life insurance payout if they are the immediate beneficiary.

Craffy was accused of diverting the funds into accounts he personally handled without the families’ knowledge. Prosecutors believed that from May 2018 through Nov. 2022, the counselor raked in more than $1.4 million in commissions.

While he prospered from his crimes, the grieving families lost some $3.7 million.

Attorney General Merrick Garland lashed out at the stunning crime. “Nothing can undo the enormous loss that Gold Star families have suffered, but the Justice Department is committed to doing everything in our power to protect them from further harm.”

Caffy faces eight to 10 years in prison following his guilty plea to six counts of wire fraud and one count each of securities fraud, making false statements in a loan application, committing acts affecting a personal financial interest and making false statements to a federal agency.

He agreed not to appeal the sentence if it falls within that range and to make restitution to the families.  

He admitted to leading grieving families to believe that investments into accounts he controlled were authorized by the military. 

Homeland Security Investigations Acting Special Agent in Charge William S. Walker declared that the former officer “disgraced his entrusted position to care for our nation’s military families when he allegedly took advantage of them during a vulnerable time of grief.

The counselor was a longtime member of the Army Reserve and worked in the Casualty Assistance Office. As such he was expressly forbidden from acting “personally in any government matter in which he had an outside financial interest in.”

Caffy is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 21.

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