Texas Lawyer Who Kept Veterans’ Benefits Sentenced

HOUSTON (December 19, 2012)--Houston attorney Joe B. Phillips, 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 Phillips to 46 months behind bars.

In September Phillips pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make false statements, misappropriation by a fiduciary and signing a false income tax return.

He was a court-appointed 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.

In April Dorothy Phillips pleaded guilty to conspiracy and making a false statement on a tax return.

She earlier was sentenced to the same penalty as her husband.

Investigators said the woman gambled extensively at Louisiana casinos.