Strong Castle CEO charged with first-degree murder in death of his wife

The CEO of Strong Castle Inc. was charged Tuesday with killing his wife, less than a year after facing fraud allegations for using a prep school injury to gain disabled-veteran status to win contracts for his IT company.

Braulio Castillo, a resident of Ashburn, was charged with first-degree murder of his wife, Michelle Castillo, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. She was found dead in her home on Belmont Station Drive on March 20.

Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman told NBC that the evidence shows she was beaten and suffocated before she was found hanging in the downstairs bathroom, saying that authorities determined the murder was staged to look like a suicide. The couple was reportedly going through a divorce, with court documents obtained by NBC showing that Michelle Castillo accused her husband of being physically abusive and threatening her before they separated. She had obtained a protective order against him.

In June, Castillo was called before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform after a 157-page report revealed findings of a lengthy investigation into fraud allegations. That report claimed that Castillo gain status as a service-disabled veteran, initially by pointing to a foot injury suffered while playing football in 1984 at the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School. It also stated that Castillo’s company was deemed to be in a “historically underutilized business zone,” or HUBZone, because Castillo hired full-time Catholic University students who lived in designated HUBZones to fulfill the residency requirements. The SBA stripped Leesburg-based Strong Castle — previously named Signet Computers Inc. — of its status as both service-disabled veteran-owned and HUBZone-certified, both of which had provided the company the ability to bid on set-aside contracts. 

The report also pointed to a “a cozy relationship” between Castillo and Greg Roseman, the deputy director for information technology acquisition for the Internal Revenue Service, which has awarded Strong Castle several contracts. Castillo denied the fraud allegations in both his congressional testimony and in an interview with the Washington Business Journal. 

Strong Castle did not respond to a request for comment regarding the murder charge. Castillo is being held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on no bond.

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