OK Dept. of Veterans Affairs Investigator accused of being convicted felon

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OKLAHOMA -- A former investigator with the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs was charged in Canadian County court on Monday, accused of being a convicted felon who lied about his credentials.

Steven Pancoast had been employed with the department as the Safety Programs Administrator since 2010.

He was arrested last Friday in Canadian County by agents of the Attorney General’s office and the FBI after they say their investigation showed he was not a qualified law enforcement officer as he said, but instead, a convicted felon from New Jersey.

Pancoast, 41, was charged with possessing a firearm after a felony conviction, perjury and false personation of a law enforcement officer.

According to court documents, Pancoast claimed that he was a state of Oklahoma CLEET (Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training) certified law enforcement officer.

But a CLEET investigator told authorities that Pancoast’s CLEET card “was believed to be fictitious and that CLEET had no record of Pancoast ever having been certified as a law enforcement officer in Oklahoma as claimed.”

An OSBI investigation turned up two felony convictions on a New Jersey criminal record for Pancoast.

Court documents allege he served three years in New Jersey state prison for larceny and possession of a weapon.

 In his role as an investigator for the ODVA, the AG’s office says he assisted in bringing charges against those committing fraud related to the VA and even testified in court under the premise of being a law enforcement officer.

 They allege he also participated in multiple arrests, carrying a firearm in several instances.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt released a statement on Monday.

“It is shocking to find that someone who so brazenly pretended to be a law enforcement officer was, in fact, a convicted felon producing fraudulent credentials to obtain his position.”

Certainly, my office will prosecute these crimes to the full extent of the law. We have also begun to review every case that our office received assistance from this individual. After agents from this office began to question his credentials, the seamless interaction between federal, state, and local authorities led to him being quickly removed from the ODVA and to a charge and apprehension of this felon."

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