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May 28, 2010

FORMER CBP CANINE OFFICER INDICTED FOR MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS TO OBTAIN FEDERAL EMPLOYEES COMPENSATION AND MAIL FRAUD

(HOUSTON) – A former Customs and Border Protection (CBP) canine officer has been indicted for lying to obtain federal compensation, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today along with Deputy Inspector General Daniel Petrole of the U.S. Department of Labor - Office of Inspector General and Special Agent in Charge of CBP - Office of Internal Affairs Dennis Lindsay.
 
Jeffrey Daft, 47, of Spring, Texas, a retired canine officer with CBP was indicted on May 27, 2010, and charged with making a false statement or fraud to obtain federal employees compensation and four counts of mail fraud. Daft was arrested today at the CBP Office of Internal Affairs and is expected to make his initial appearance before a United States Magistrate later today.

According to allegations in the indictment, Daft made a false and fictitious statement in his application for compensation under the Federal Employees Compensation Action (FECA) when he stated he was not self employed nor involved in any business for the 15 months preceding Jan. 14, 2009. Daft retired from CBP in October 2002 due to an on-the-job injury. Daft is accused in separate counts of having signed and submitted by mail to the Office of Worker’s Compensation Programs (OWCP) a EN-1031 benefit form on Jan. 2, 2006, Dec. 12, 2006, Dec. 12, 2007, and Jan. 14, 2009, acknowledging that he must report any employment to the OWCP and further acknowledged his duty to report income that would affect his benefits. The indictment alleges that from 2006 through 2009, Daft failed to report his ownership of two companies, RC Bods and Herzog Racing, as required on the Form EN-1032, and as a result he  received payments from OWCP totaling approximately $315,000, a portion of which he was allegedly not entitled to receive due the other income.

“The FECA provides income compensation and medical benefits for work-related injuries or illness,” said Petrole. “My office will continue to aggressively work with our law enforcement partners to ensure the integrity of the Department’s OWCP programs.”

Making a false statement or fraud to obtain federal employees compensation carries a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison and a $250,00 fine upon conviction. A conviction for mail fraud carries a maximum of up to 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.   

The investigation leading to the charges against Daft was conducted by the Department of Labor - Office of Inspector General and the CBP - Office of Internal Affairs. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kebharu H. Smith.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.

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