The former owner of Universal K-9, a dog training and handler school in San Antonio, has been convicted of scheming to defraud the government by falsely claiming that he was hiring veterans as educators, so the school could receive GI Benefit tuition payments, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Bradley Croft, 47, claimed that tuition at his dog handler's court that cost between $6500 and $12600 was eligible for GI Benefits.
Croft also allegedly told the Texas Veterans Commission that his instructors would be veterans. He was convicted of aggravated identity theft for using the names and certifications of veterans as among his instructors.
Testimony also revealed that Croft submitted fraudulent income tax returns showing his 2016 reported income as $2,000 and his reported income as $2,000 for 2017. Evidence showed that Croft actually received substantially more income than what he reported to the IRS in 2016 and 2017, leading to a conviction for making a false tax return.
“Today’s guilty verdict was reached under the leadership of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and as a result of the extensive work of special agents of the VA Office of Inspector General, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and the FBI,” stated VA-Office of the Inspector General Special Agent in Charge Ross. “These charges send a clear signal that any institution entrusted with the education of veterans will be held accountable for defrauding the GI Bill program.”
The government is also seeking the criminal forfeiture of alleged proceeds derived from the defendant’s illegal scheme including a 2017 American Eagle Motor home, two late model pickup trucks, two jet skis, one trailer,approximately $138,000 in U.S. Currency and the real property located in the 15000 block of Tradesman in San Antonio.