To apprehend Army adept Troy D. Ambler acquaint it, Dog Tag Furniture’s mission to aid vets began afterwards a annual associate dead himself and the ancestors couldn’t allow a funeral.
The Department of Veterans Affairs can alone accommodate a few hundred dollars, the Minnesota man told “Fox and Friends” on Sept. 23, 2017.
“The anatomy was activity to go bearding and be put in a baggie,” Ambler said.
Ambler recalled activity into debt to advice pay his friend’s burial costs and again accomplished no organizations existed to alone advice armamentarium veterans’ funerals.
Roughly six years later, Dog Tag Furniture builds and sells lath American flags and added affectionate products, announcement itself on amusing media and TV interviews as an alignment allotment adept funerals via donations and lath banderole sales.
“The money goes to pay for the funerals of these families who cannot allow one,” Ambler told “Fox and Friends” during a acknowledgment actualization on Nov. 22, 2017.
“I authority the claimed albatross to accomplish abiding every dollar I accustomed goes out to funerals,” he said.
But now, Walker, his wife Ranemma and Dog Tag Furniture are beneath analysis by the FBI and U.S. Postal Annual amidst allegations of money bed-making and wire artifice in “a arrangement to bamboozle donors who fabricated accommodating donations to their company,” according to cloister records.
“Troy Walker…both solicited donations to Dog Tag Furniture and awash lath flags to barter of Dog Tag Furniture by falsely apery to donors and barter that Dog Tag Furniture was a accommodating alignment and that all of the gain of donations and sales would be acclimated to accommodate funerals for aggressive veterans,” according to a affirmation affirmation absorbed to a federal chase accreditation appeal from aftermost month.
“Instead of application their money to pay for funerals for aggressive veterans, Troy and Ranemma Ambler acclimated a cogent allocation of the money for their own purposes,” the affirmation added.
“Personal purchases” allegedly included boom parlor payments, clandestine academy charge for the Walkers’ children, $9,000 at Disney resorts, $5,000 in “food and ball expenses” and $7,000 to a law close apery the brace “in affiliation with a altercation with the City of Norwood Young America,” according to the affidavit, which Aggressive Times acquired from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Ambler has not been answerable with a abomination and the federal delving into delinquency allegations acclaimed in the affirmation continues, according to Department of Justice officials.
Although the alms accustomed about $490,000 in sales and donations from August 2017 to July 2018, Dog Tag Furniture allegedly covered the costs of aloof two funerals at a absolute amount of $3,295, federal authorities allege.
Walker, 38, beneath to animadversion on the allegations through Robb Leer, his Minneapolis-based spokesman.
Dog Tag Furniture’s bent aegis attorney, Marsh Halberg, did not altercation some of the spending allegations abundant in the affirmation but said “the Walkers were awkward in the use of their clandestine checkbooks and the accumulated checkbook.”
The Walkers paid for added funerals, but those payments came out of their clandestine accounts, he said.
Because federal authorities accept bedeviled their cyberbanking annal “we’re affectionate of bedridden in that,” Halberg said.
“They were not alive an flush lifestyle,” Halberg said. “These bodies were not acclimated to that. They weren’t business adeptness in that sense.”
The Walkers did booty a Disney trip, Halberg said, but the organization’s lath of admiral “encouraged them to do that.”
The federal chase accreditation affirmation claims that Ambler told radio host Glenn Beck during an April annual that his alignment pays an boilerplate of $3,600 per burial and has adjourned about 200 of them but law administration “has begin no affirmation of Dog Tag Furniture accouterment any funds for added funerals, including the funerals Ambler accurately referenced on amusing media, such as…an bearding changeable Minnesota National Guard member” and two others.
About $17,000 in Dog Tag Furniture funds instead went to pay Walker’s mortgage “after the abode went into foreclosure in or about August 2017,” according to the affidavit.
“In lieu of salary, the alignment paid for basal alive costs so they could abide to live,” aegis advocate Halberg said. “They did pay for mortgages and food.”
Dog Tag Furniture was founded in 2015 as a for-profit corporation, according to the federal chase accreditation affidavit.
It was initially created to accommodate a additional assets to backing a approaching cruise to Disney World, but angry altruistic afterwards Walker’s acquaintance dead himself, according to the organization’s website.
Ambler activated for tax-exempt, non-profit cachet in September 2017 and accustomed an approval letter from the Internal Revenue Annual in February, a archetype of which was aggregate with Aggressive Times.
Although ambler told Beck during his radio annual that neither he nor his wife drew salaries from Dog Tag Furniture, about $90,000 was transferred from the organization’s blockage annual to the Walkers’ claimed coffers amid August 2017 and July 2018, according to the affidavit.
The transfers occurred aback “the Walkers’ claimed coffer accounts had bound added sources of income,” wrote Christine Kroells, a U.S. Postal Inspector, in her affirmation gluttonous a chase warrant.
The affirmation states the brace accustomed unemployment allowances and what appeared to be worker’s advantage payments in 2017 and 2018, but Ambler denies they accustomed unemployment assistance.
During the Nov. 22, 2017, actualization on Fox and Friends, Ambler said he about absent his home a few months beforehand but “a donor stepped advanced and got me bent up on my mortgage” afterwards his antecedent actualization on the show.
“I was accepting into so abundant debt with this banderole architecture business,” he added.
That addition was allotment of a flood of Dog Tag Furniture purchases and donations Ambler arise accepting afterwards his aboriginal Fox and Friends appearance. Dog Tag Furniture’s website comatose afterwards that aboriginal appearance, he said, with association sending pledges alignment amid $5 and $5,000.
“Within bristles account of me actuality on the actualization I begin out my voicemail can alone authority 112 messages,” he added.
While affable him aback for his additional atom on the show, Fox host Ainsley Earhardt arise that “Troy’s website accustomed over $100,000 in sales, acknowledgment to you, our amazing, acceptable viewers,” in the hours afterward the aboriginal appearance.
“I adulation that alike aback you were in acute straits, you use all the money still to pay for funerals, because you get your paycheck from the military,” Earhardt said.
“Thank you for angry for our country,” she added.
Dog Tag Furniture portrays itself as an alignment area veterans advice veterans.
Its logo appearance two blind aggressive identification tags basic a “22,” an oft-reported appraisal of how abounding veterans annihilate themselves anniversary day, and Ambler addendum his Army annual in videos on the organization’s website.
“I was a ’19-Kilo,’ which translates to Abrams catchbasin crewman,” Ambler said in one website video. “Yes, I collection about the big barbarian of the battlefield.”
But aggressive annual annal actualization it’s been a connected time aback Ambler drew Army pay.
Ambler enlisted in 1999 and larboard alive assignment in 2002, and his best contempo rank change was to private, or E-1, in November of 2001, according to annual records.
Ambler acknowledged the 2001 anticlimax in an email forwarded by his spokesman.
“After 9/11 some of us didn’t get paid due to the pentagon (sic) damage, I wasn’t paid for about 4 months and told my administrator no pay, no training and absolved off column until I got paid,” Ambler wrote. “After I got paid, I was accustomed an commodity 15 for AWOL and bargain from E-4 to E-3 and answer aback in a few months, not abiding why it says E-1???”
Ambler said he served in the “Inactive Reserves” until 2009, aback he was advantageously discharged. Army admiral arise he was in the Individual Ready Reserve from 2002 to 2007.
Army admiral said he was administratively afar from the annual but beneath to characterize the attributes of his discharge.
Aback Aggressive Times requested a archetype of Walker’s DD214 acquittal anatomy or added annual annal that ability afford ablaze on the declared discrepancies, his agent wrote in an email that “since Feds searched and bedeviled his computers and files backward aftermost ages — Troy was larboard afterwards any adamantine archetype cardboard files or his adamantine drive to admission files like this from.”
“All my action buddies accept apparent my interviews and accept NEVER about acknowledged annihilation I said in commendations to my service,” Ambler said in an email forwarded to Aggressive Times.
The federal chase accreditation accomplished aftermost ages does not arise to be the alone time law administration has searched Walker’s home.
Carver Canton Sheriff’s Office assembly combed it as well, according to an April columnist absolution from the agency.
In March, authorities said Ambler provided Carver Canton assembly with a apprehensive email he asserted was accounting by an official from his boondocks of Norwood Young America, about an hour’s drive from Minneapolis.
But assembly bent the bulletin had been beatific through Walker’s own IP address, “suggesting the email had appear through Walker’s own computer(s),” the columnist absolution states.
An email from addition alleged “Jacob” additionally claimed Norwood Young America admiral were afflictive Ambler but canton board begin it additionally came from Walker’s IP address, the bureau wrote.
Like federal probes, bounded investigations generally abate out afterwards prosecutors indicting their targets.
Angella Erickson — the bent analysis administrator for the Carver Canton Attorney’s Office — told Aggressive Times that the affairs aloft in the sheriff’s absolution abide beneath analysis but there are “no accepted awaiting charges” adjoin Ambler or his wife.
In an email aggregate with Aggressive Times through his spokesman, Ambler said the Carver Canton allegations are “actually what started this investigation.” In fact, he wrote, the canton accuse “were absolved anon afterwards for abridgement of evidence” and he abhorrent bounded prosecutors for instigating the added federal probe.
“Since they could not get me on those charges, they alleged the FBI,” he continued. “That is why our books are so (wacky) is because they accumulate accepting taken.”
Erickson acknowledged Walker’s accusation and said bounded admiral did not acquaintance federal law administration about him.
“To my knowledge, the Carver Canton Sheriff’s Office is not complex with any analysis by the FBI,” she said.
Aegis advocate Halberg said Dog Tag Furniture is “pausing everything” because of “negative publicity.”
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