Disabled Veteran Indicted on Charges of Stealing
St. Louis, MO – Donald Crangle was charged with theft of government funds from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and making false statements to the Veterans Administration (VA) in relation to his receipt of disability benefits from those agencies.
In 1985, while on active duty in the United States Army, Donald Crangle sustained a back injury during a motor vehicle accident. While the injury was disabling, the VA found that it did not render him unemployable upon his discharge. After suffering a significant work-place accident while employed by the St. Louis Public School System, in 2003, Crangle requested additional disability benefits from the VA by claiming that the 1985 accident prevented him from working. He also requested disability benefits from the SSA. The government agencies granted his applications in November 2003.
However, when Crangle became certified to teach Concealed Carry Weapons classes by the National Rifle Association in 2009, he failed to notify either agency. According to records seized by St. Louis County Police Officers during an investigation of his classes and those obtained from St. Charles County, between August 2009 and December 2013, Crangle’s business had gross annual earnings were as high as $130,588. Nevertheless, Crangle made numerous false statements to the VA regarding the extent of his employment, and his income. As a result of his conduct, Crangle received fraudulently more than $314,000 in government funds from the VA and SSA.
Crangle, 57, of St. Louis, was indicted by a federal grand jury today on three felony counts of theft of government funds and five counts of making false statements.
If convicted of theft of government funds, Crangle faces up to 10 years in prison, and 5 years if convicted of making false statements. Both counts also carry the possibility of a fine of up to $250,000. Restitution to the victim is also mandatory. In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
The case was investigated by the Offices of Inspector General of the Social Security Administration and the Veterans Administration. Assistant United States Attorney Tracy Berry is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.