Fairbanks fugitive reaches plea agreement

Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A former Fairbanks man accused of living as a fugitive in Canada since he was convicted of mail fraud in 1976 pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court.

Howard Forrest Myer, 68, pleaded guilty to a failure-to-appear charge.

Myer is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 16 for both the mail fraud and the failure-to-appear charge.

A plea agreement allows the judge to sentence Myer, now confined to a wheelchair, and with heart problems and several other severe health conditions, to detention in his home or in an assisted-living situation.

He faces a maximum five-year sentence for the failure-to-appear charge. As part of the plea agreement, the judge can only sentence Myer to probation on the mail fraud charge.

Myer previously pleaded no contest to using a phony business to defraud 262 people out of $10 each. According to court records, Myer and his wife promised jobs helping build the trans-Alaska oil pipeline to all those who paid the small fee.

His whereabouts remained a mystery until April, when Toronto police arrested Myer living under the name John Murray.

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