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Disbarred attorney sentenced for defrauding elderly woman

By Hope Miller 4:12 PM February 12, 2014

Former estate and trust attorney Philip Eric Myers, 61, was sentenced to 64 months in prison for stealing more than $1 million

ANCHORAGE – A disbarred California lawyer was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage Tuesday for defrauding an elderly woman’s estate, prosecutors said.

Former estate and trust attorney Philip Eric Myers, 61, was sentenced to 64 months in prison for stealing more than $1 million from Juanita Gielarowski, according to a statement from federal prosecutors.

Back in September 2013, he pled guilty to one count of mail fraud and two counts of wire fraud.

Myers and co-defendant Brian Amiel Ben-Israel — an Anchorage-based nurse who worked at Meridian Psychiatric Consulting Group — befriended and then swindled money from Gielarowski, the statement said.

From 2005 to 2008, Ben-Israel became a health care provider and financial advisor to Gielarowski and her daughter. With Myers’ help, Ben-Israel gained control of Gielarowski’s assets by making a new trust with Ben-Israel as a co-trustee, prosecutors said.

Ben-Israel and Myers stole more than $2 million and depleted Gielarowski’s estate by 2009, which caused her to be relocated from her home to a state-funded elder care facility. She died there in July 2010.

At the time Myers’ sentencing was handed down, he had been convicted in three other cases of theft from an elder or dependent in California, according to prosecutors. In those cases he also embezzled money from trusts he had set up for his elderly clients. Myers was disbarred on Feb. 11, 2013.

Myers is also ordered to pay a restitution of more than $1 million. Ben-Israel was sentenced to five and half years in prison in December.


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