Veteran pleads guilty to wire fraud

Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) An Anchorage man has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud for charging the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs for more than $450,000 in bus repairs that were never done.

Ronald L. Phillips is a veteran who claimed a disability and then qualified for financial assistance under the Veterans Affairs vocational rehabilitation self-employment program, the U.S. attorney's office said.

He submitted bids to have two buses from his transportation company, Alaska Tour Quest, refurbished by a Palmer company, according to the indictment.

Phillips then turned in fake invoices totaling more than $450,000 for repairs, the indictment said. He used the money to buy more buses, the indictment said.

Phillips entered a guilty plea in U.S. District Court last Thursday. He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

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