Ex-lawyer sentenced to more than 5 years in federal elder fraud case

Casey Grove

A disbarred lawyer who stole more than $1 million from an elderly Anchorage widow was sentenced to more than five years in prison Tuesday.

The man, California resident Philip Eric Myers, 61, worked with the victim's nurse, 54-year-old Brian Ben-Israel, to steal millions of dollars from her estate from 2007 to 2009. The pair set up a trust fund they controlled, tricked the woman into signing documents giving the men power over her estate, and funneled money into their fund, according to court documents.

Ben-Israel pleaded guilty to mail fraud, wire fraud and filing false tax returns in September and was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison in December. He was ordered to pay more than $2 million restitution.

Myers -- who has a history of embezzling from his elderly clients, federal prosecutors said -- also pleaded guilty in September to mail and wire fraud charges. He was sentenced to 5 1/3 years in prison on Tuesday. Myers was ordered to pay more than $1 million restitution, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Reach Casey Grove at casey.grove@adn.com or 257-4343. Twitter updates: twitter.com/kcgrove.