Lawyer gets 4 years for scam­ming vets

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

An at­tor­ney who scammed the fi­nances of some veter­ans must serve nearly four years in prison and re­pay more than $2.6 mil­lion.

A fed­eral judge in Hous­ton on Wed­nes­day sen­tenced Joe B. Phillips to 46 months be­hind bars. Phillips in Septem­ber pleaded guilty to con­spir­acy to make false state­ments, mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion by a fidu­ciary and sign­ing a false in­come tax re­turn.

Phillips was a cour­tap­pointed guardian or De­part­ment of Veter­ans Af­fairs-ap­proved fidu­ciary for veter­ans. He must re­pay nearly $2.4 mil­lion to the agency and more than $282,000 to the In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice.

Dorothy Phillips in April pleaded guilty to con­spir­acy and mak­ing a false state­ment on a tax re­turn. She ear­lier was sen­tenced to the same penalty as her hus­band.

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