SAN ANTONIO — Editor's note: The above video is from October 8, 2019.
The owner of Universal K-9, Inc. was convicted of scheming to defraud the federal government by a federal judge Wednesday. 47-year-old Bradley Croft was facing charges including fraud, identity theft and money laundering.
Croft was found to have used false information in applications to the Texas Veterans Commission to receive GI Bill payments. Universal K-9 would charge at least $6,500 for the K-9 Handler dual-purpose detection program to $12,000 for the K-9 trainer/instructor program, according to a release from the Justice Department.
Since 2016, Universal K-9 filed approximately 185 claims relating to the education of approximately 132 veterans, totaling over $1,260,000. Testimony in the bench trial 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. In reality, he made much more.
Federal authorities seized 26 dogs from Universal K-9 in San Antonio on August 8, 2018. The dogs were taken in by Animal Care Services. The government is also seeking the forfeiture of alleged proceeds from the scheme, including a motor home, two pickup trucks, two jet skis, one trailer, approximately $138,000 in cash and the property that used to house Universal K-9.
Croft faces up to 20 years in federal prison for wire fraud, up to 20 years in federal prison for money laundering and up to two years in federal prison for aggravated identity theft. He is in U.S. Marshals custody and sentencing has not been scheduled.