Ex-Oklahoma investigator accused of lying about credentials

AP News
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Posted: Apr 25, 2015 6:36 PM

EL RENO, Okla. (AP) — A former Oklahoma Veterans Affairs Department chief investigator who was fired after authorities said they discovered he had faked his credentials and was actually a convicted felon is facing new criminal charges.

Prosecutors filed 26 criminal counts Friday against Steven B. Pancoast Jr., alleging he lied about his credentials at a 2012 rape trial, at a 2014 murder preliminary hearing, on arrest warrant requests, on a search warrant request, in a deposition and on multicounty grand jury subpoenas for bank records.

Authorities also allege Pancoast carried a counterfeit badge and forged law enforcement credentials, business cards and diplomas from Oklahoma State University and Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

Pancoast was originally charged March 23 with three felonies. Pancoast was fired March 13 after authorities concluded he wasn't a state-certified law enforcement officer.

He now faces 15 felony counts of perjury, six felony counts of second-degree forgery, one felony count of possession of a forged instrument, one felony count of possessing a firearm after felony conviction, one felony count of violating the computer crimes act and one felony count of engaging in a pattern of criminal offenses. He faces one misdemeanor count of impersonating a law enforcement officer.

A message left for Pancoast's attorney seeking comment on the charges was not immediately returned Saturday. Pancoast previously has denied any wrongdoing.

The accusations already have affected pending criminal cases and investigations in which Pancoast was involved, The Oklahoman newspaper reported (http://bit.ly/1E3UuQJ ).

Prosecutors asked a judge in March to dismiss a drug charge against a former American Legion official and have delayed filing a major embezzlement charge against that official and possibly others.

Court records show that Pancoast spent almost three years in prison in New Jersey after two arrests for larceny and a weapons offense.