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“CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR!”
MARINE MAJOR GOES TO SLAMMER
FOR FIVE YEARS, HIT WITH BIG FINE
ON EVE OF RETIREMENT – CAUGHT
AS MASTERMIND OF $400K FRAUD


For Marine MAJ Darryl Phillips it was “close, but no cigar.” The way the veteran USMC field-grade had it planned, he would retire to a life of leisure. It was only a matter of days. But he didn’t count on being caught red-handed in a government credit card scam before he could slip out the back door.

Instead of a fat pension, the former major is now just another inmate at the Leavenworth DB. Only he has one more dubious distinction. The court-martial that found him guilty of scamming the government – funneling money from credit cards to bogus “companies” established by him, family and friends – decreed that Phillips had to pay back $400,000 in “ill-gotten gains” or spend another five years in the slammer.

The only thing that went right for the ex-Marine officer was he beat an adultery rap. But that’s little comfort considering Phillips forfeits all retirement pay and benefits after 22 years in the Corps. Dismissed from the service – the equivalent of dishonorable discharge – means when he does get out of the pen, he won’t be able to get a job much better than flipping hamburgers at McDonalds.

The 10-member jury of officers at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station could have “thrown the book” at Phillips. The maximum sentence the officer faced was 15 years in the pen and an even larger fine.

One of the mistakes Phillips made was cutting two enlisted Marines into the scheme, instead of keeping the corruption strictly a “family-affair.” It was those two “jar heads” that testified against him and sealed his doom. Both Marines had previously pleaded guilty and got a “deal” from the prosecution in exchange for their “cooperation.”



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