Thursday, April 18, 2024

Shreveport Man Pleads Guilty to Theft of Government Funds

by BIZ Magazine
gavel lying on desk

Edward L. Angel, Sr., a 70-year-old resident of Shreveport, Louisiana, entered a guilty plea for theft of government funds in federal court, announced United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown.

Angel’s guilty plea comes as part of an ongoing legal saga that began in February when he was found guilty by a federal jury on three counts of making false statements to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after a week-long trial. The jury, however, was deadlocked on other charges related to the theft of government funds, leading to a mistrial declaration.

Today’s plea resolves the remaining charges against Angel, negating the need for a second trial. As part of the plea agreement, Angel has agreed to pay restitution totaling $141,972.89.

The case revolves around Angel’s involvement in two businesses, ELA Group, Inc. (ELA), and Paradigm Engineers and Constructors PLLC (Paradigm), as well as his misrepresentation of his employment status to various government agencies.

Court documents reveal that Angel, a veteran, misrepresented his involvement and income from both ELA and Paradigm to qualify for the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) program. Through false statements and documents, he secured contracts worth millions of dollars set aside for businesses owned by disabled veterans.

Additionally, Angel received Individual Unemployability (IU) benefits from the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) and Disability Insurance Benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) under false pretenses. He failed to disclose his ownership and employment in the two companies, resulting in him receiving over $140,000 in undeserved payments.

Angel faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000 for the false statement counts. He also faces up to one year in prison, not more than one year of supervised release, and a fine of up to $100,000 for the theft of government funds charge.

The sentencing for Angel’s crimes is scheduled for April 26, 2024. The case was investigated by multiple federal agencies, including 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.

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