Army Counselor Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Gold Star Families

On Tuesday, Caz Craffy, a 41-year-old financial counselor for the U.S. Army and a major in the U.S. Army Reserves, pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including wire and securities fraud. Craffy was accused of defrauding Gold Star families, those who have lost a loved one in military service, by deceitfully managing their life insurance payments and other benefits.

Operating out of Colts Neck, New Jersey, Craffy admitted to manipulating over $9.9 million from numerous Gold Star families into investments he controlled, all while racking up $1.4 million in commissions for himself. This misconduct resulted in a staggering loss of over $3.7 million for the bereaved families. The case, handled in Trenton federal court by U.S. District Judge Georgette Castner, has set Craffy’s sentencing for August 21.

“Craffy 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,” stated William S. Walker, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations Newark. This sentiment was echoed by U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger, who remarked on the gravity of Craffy’s betrayal during a time when families were at their most vulnerable.

“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,” Attorney General Merrick Garland stated regarding the guilty plea.

Craffy is expected to face eight to ten years in prison as part of the plea deal. The exact amount he will need to pay in restitution to the affected families will be determined at his sentencing.

For a nation grateful to its fallen heroes, ensuring that their families are treated with the utmost integrity is not just a matter of policy but of preserving the honor of the service rendered by these servicemen and women. As this case proceeds to sentencing, it will hopefully close a painful chapter for the affected families and restore their faith in the systems meant to support them during their most challenging times.