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Businessman sentenced in scheme to defraud military subcontractor

Stanley Phillips was convicted of eight counts of wire fraud

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Stanley P. Phillips used to say he was a nuclear engineer. He told stories about his work for the FBI and a secret military team who extracted Panama's dictator Gen. Manuel Noriega from the jungles of South America.

But none of it was true, according to an investigation involving the FBI and the U.S. Army Investigation Command. His pyramid of lies collapsed, after Phillips, 48, was caught trying to steal funds from a U.S. military contract, prosecutors said.

During his 11-day jury trial, prosecutors said he was a high school graduate, who had completed two entry level classes in the Coast Guard. He was discharged from the Coast Guard in 1986, after only two years of service, because of sleepwalking.

Phillips stole from his employer, business partners and friends, U.S. Attorney Wilfredo A. Ferrer said Tuesday. "He used his position of trust to compromise the ability of our military to fund necessary projects," Ferrer said, after U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom sentenced Phillips to nine years in prison in a Fort Lauderdale courtroom.

The Boca Raton businessman born in Alabama was convicted of eight counts of wire fraud Dec. 11, 2014.

Investigators found Phillips committed the crimes, while he was a construction foreman for  Day and Zimmerman International (D&Z)  during his involvement in projects in Pace, Florida, and Kingsport, Tennessee.

According to prosecutors he manipulated subcontractors to deposit thousands of dollars into an account that he opened under his girlfriend's name, investigators found.

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Phillips' girlfriend told investigators that he said he was on the secret payroll of Sen. Ron Johnson, of Wisconsin, prosecutors said. The South Florida nurse believed the deposits from the sub-contractors were repayments of loans the sub-contractors were sending to Johnson. 

While working the $28 million contract in Florida, Phillips asked a supplier of piping materials,  to subcontract Royal Global Services, to install the piping. But what authorities said he didn't tell them was that the subcontractor was his shell company. And that he was going to have his employer's workers complete the task.

While working on a $7.38 million contract in Tennessee, Phillips asked sub-contractor HSIII to contract a company called RGS Professional Services, a Florida corporation based in Boca Raton that he also co-owned and was actually a nursing registry.

"We cannot tolerate a system where crooked individuals seek to enrich themselves at taxpayer expense," FBI agent Michael A. D'Alonzo said. He added that the FBI will continue to "aggressively investigate this type of conduct to ensure that government monies do not fall into the hands of the greedy and dishonest."

D'Alonzo was asking anyone with information about corruption, to contact the local FBI office at 754-703-2000 or the tip lines: 1-800-225-5324 or 1-866-720-5721.

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