Skip to main content
Press Release

Shreveport Man Convicted in Recent Trial Pleads Guilty to Additional Charge of Theft of Government Funds

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Louisiana

SHREVEPORT, La.Edward L. Angel, Sr., 70, of Shreveport, appeared before United States District Magistrate Judge Mark L. Hornsby today to enter a guilty plea, announced United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown. Angel pleaded guilty to a charge of theft of government funds. In addition to pleading guilty, Angel agreed to pay restitution in the total amount of $141,972.89.

In February, Angel was found guilty by a federal jury of three counts of making false statements to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after a week-long trial. The jury was deadlocked as to the remaining counts in the indictment charging Angel with theft of government funds and a mistrial was declared. A decision was made by the U.S. Attorney’s Office to proceed to a second trial against Angel on the remaining counts. The guilty plea today resolves those remaining counts, negating a second trial.

Angel is a veteran and owned and operated two businesses, ELA Group, Inc. (ELA) and Paradigm Engineers and Constructors PLLC (Paradigm). The VA has a service-disabled veteran owned small business program (SDVOSB) which is a program that provides federal contracting assistance to small businesses owned by disabled veterans by providing them the opportunity to get certain set-aside contracts. To be eligible for this program, the veteran must meet specific criteria demonstrating eligibility, ownership, and control of the small business.

In 2011 and 2012, Angel submitted forms to the SDVOSB stating that he was the President of ELA and responsible for all day-to-day responsibilities and decisions. He also submitted documentation stating he worked 40+ hours each week and his compensation was taken at the end of the year in the form of IRS Subchapter S regulations distributions. On the forms Angel submitted, he represented to SDVOSB that the reason he did not take a salary was because he chose to leave money in the corporation to keep as much working capital as possible. In 2016, Angel purchased and became the President of Paradigm. Soon after his purchase of Paradigm, he began to submit documentation to qualify the company for the SDVOSB program. He certified that he was the 100% owner of Paradigm and worked an average of 50 or more hours a week committing 5-6 hours a day to each of his entities. As a result of these representations, ELA and Paradigm were accepted into the SDVOSB program and received millions of dollars in set-aside contracts from the SDVOSB.

From on or about November 2013, Angel also received Individual Unemployability from the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA). Angel submitted documents to substantiate his disability claims for the VBA stating he was unable to work and had been unemployed since 2008. As a result of his misrepresentations to VBA, Angel admitted that he received $93,819.29 in IU payments that he was not entitled to receive and that were deposited into his bank account in the form of monthly payments.

On June 16, 2011, Angel also applied for SSA Disability Insurance Benefits stating that he had been unable to work since 2010 due to a medical condition. The SSA approved his application to receive disability benefits. Angel admits that he failed to disclose that he owned and operated two companies and was gainfully employed. As a result of these misrepresentations, he received $48,153.60 in disability payments he was not entitled to receive.

Angel faces a sentence of up to 5 years in prison, 3 years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000 on the false statement counts.  He also faces up to 1 year in prison, not more than 1 year of supervised release, and a fine of up to $100,000 on the theft of government funds charge.

Angel will be sentenced for the three counts of making false statements to the FAA and the count of theft of government funds on April 26, 2024.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, Department of Veteran Affairs Office of Inspector General, and Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Tennille M. Gilreath and Earl M. Campbell.

# # #

Updated March 12, 2024