A Southern California man who falsely claimed his Carlsbad firm could repair people's credit problems was sentenced today to nearly three years in federal prison.
Eric Dean Phillips -- who was convicted of mail fraud -- helped create Georggin Law in 2010, despite the fact that he is not an attorney and has never been licensed to practice law, prosecutors said.
Phillips, 58, claimed that his firm could provide credit repair services to clients trying to buy real estate, targeting individuals who hoped to buy homes but had poor credit scores because of a prior short sale or foreclosure.
During sales pitches in the offices of real estate agents, Phillips claimed that Georggin Law could file lawsuits in small claims court and have prior short sales and foreclosures removed from clients' credit reports, according to prosecutors.
Phillips, of Riverside, claimed that Georggin Law had won more than 600 cases and had never lost a case in small claims court.
He also promised a “money-back guarantee,” despite the fact that Georggin Law maintained little or no money to actually refund unsatisfied customers.
Phillips admitted that his firm defrauded more than 250 clients 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.
In court today, two of Phillips' victims called him a “predator.”
One man from La Mesa wrote to the court saying, “I was abused by the credit report system, then further abused by Mr. Phillips who did nothing for two years after taking my money.”
Another victim from San Diego said, “He is a smooth talker with a smile that lures clients in and banks on your trust.”
Phillips will be back in court April 14 for a hearing to determine how much restitution he owes.
--City News Service