SAN DIEGO (CN) - A Riverside man whose victims called him a "predator" was sentenced Monday to two years and nine months in federal prison for pocketing more than $150,000 from a credit-repair scam in which he falsely claimed to be an attorney.
Eric Phillips, 58, defrauded clients of Georggin Law, formerly of Carlsbad, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.
Phillips helped create Georggin Law in 2010 - despite the fact that he is not an attorney and has never been licensed to practice law - and claimed that the firm could provide credit repair services to clients attempting to purchase real estate," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement. "Phillips falsely represented to potential clients that he had been at Georggin Law for 34 years, that he was an attorney, and that he had a California bar number."
Phillips' imagination knew no bounds, according to the U.S. attorney: "In addition to lying about his history and qualifications, Phillips also falsely claimed that Georggin had won over 600 victories in small claims courts, had a 100 percent success rate and had never lost a case. Phillips also promised a 'money back guarantee,' despite the fact that Georggin Law maintained little or no money to actually refund unsatisfied clients.
"Phillips admitted that Georggin defrauded over 250 clients using such false statements, and that he personally pocketed at least $150,000 from the scheme.
"According to the State Bar of California, the attorney nominally affiliated with Georggin Law, Ernest George Georggin, has agreed to surrender his law license and pay restitution to certain clients of the firm."
Victims spoke at Phillips' sentencing hearing Monday, and had their letter read. At least two called him a "predator." One said Phillips "did nothing for two years after taking my money."
Phillips must appear in court again on April 14 for a restitution hearing.
He could have been sentenced to 20 years in prison.