Friday, January 25, 2013

Couple who scammed veterans are headed to prison

The elderly Houston couple responsible for the largest scam ever uncovered in a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' program meant to protect vulnerable veterans will be going to federal prison for 46 months after conspiring to carry out a $2.3 million ripoff of 49 disabled military men.

Houston lawyer Joe B. Phillips, 73, stood in federal court Wednesday to receive an identical punishment to that of his legal assistant and wife of four decades, Dorothy, who has claimed a casino gambling addiction first compelled her to siphon funds from veterans' bank accounts years before a VA audit finally detected the losses.

"I did not personally do it myself, but I accept responsibility because it happened in my office. It happened on my watch," Phillips told the court.

He asked to serve out his sentence in a cell near his 72-year-old spouse.

Government prosecutors unsuccessfully urged U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal to give a longer sentence to Joe Phillips, who was legally responsible for safeguarding disabled veterans' funds as a VA-approved fiduciary and as a guardian appointed by Texas probate judges. They pointed out that on Phillips' watch, 46 different fraudulent bank accounts were concocted to conceal long-term and ongoing thefts from veterans' accounts.

Full Article & Source:
Couple who scammed veterans are headed to prison


Mary said...


Hannah said...

I wonder if those who have been scammed will recover anything.

Sue said...

Wait a minute here this is the sweetest deal ever what is U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal thinking or is he thinking?

****'federal prison for 46 months after conspiring to carry out a $2.3 million ripoff of 49 disabled military men'*******

46 months? that's it? 49 victims who are/were VETERANS?

People in positions of trust and this is the message the court is sending?

I AM OUTRAGED AND ASHAMED at the judge for this sweet deal!

The prosecutors must be furious as they should be after all their hard work very disheartening.

The only redeeming issue is they got caught, they were charged and then they got sentenced to a federal cage.

Thelma said...

How will a short sentence teach others not to steal?

Anonymous said...

He wants to be in a jail near his family! and only 46 months in jail! What a slap in the face to Justice! My mother Retta Rickow, committed no crime, put under guardainship in Pinellas country, Florida. Under Judge Patrick Caddell. Has paid 100's of thousands of dollars in fees, earned under false accusations and hearsay. And Retta was moved 45 from her home and family,one way. Strict visitation rules and never to leave from facility unless going to hospital for well over 2 years till her death. And none of that was ever what she had planned or wanted, nor her family. There is not Justice!