SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio man has been sentenced to 118 months, or nearly 10 years in federal prison after he was convicted of defrauding veterans and the federal government of more than $1.5 million.
In November 2019, Bradley Lane Croft, owner of Universal K-9, Inc. was convicted of eight counts of wire fraud, four counts of aggravated identity theft, two counts of money laundering and two counts of making a false tax return.
Croft, 49, solicited veterans as students indicating that they could use their GI Bill benefits to pay for dog handler’s courses. The courses cost $6,500 for the K-9 Handler dual-purpose detection program to $12,000 for the K-9 trainer/instructor program, according to a previous KSAT report.
Since 2016, Universal K-9 filed approximately 185 claims relating to the education of approximately 132 veterans totaling more than $1,260,000, according to testimony.
Previous testimony also showed that Croft submitted false tax returns and reported that his income was only $2,000 for 2016 and 2017, despite his income being substantially higher.
A sentencing memorandum for Croft states that “at no point was it ever his intention to defraud any person or entity, and that his motives and goals were to start and build a business, from the ground up, wherein he trained both service dogs and service dog handlers.”
Croft sought a pardon from then-president Donald Trump in July 2020 but was unsuccessful.
“My business saved dogs that would have been euthanized, trained them to detect drugs, and donated them to police departments across the country. At 6 AM on August 2018, over 50 FBI agents raided my business. They pulled me and my daughter out at gunpoint,” Croft said as part of a blog post on the Universal K9 website.