Former San Francisco Deputy Sheriff Sentenced To 14 Months Imprisonment For Scheme To Defraud Insurance Company
SAN FRANCISCO – Former San Francisco Deputy Sheriff April Myres was sentenced to 14 months in prison for committing mail and wire fraud, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett. The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Richard Seeborg, U.S. District Judge.
The sentence follows an eight-day trial that resulted in a jury convicting Myres, 55, of San Francisco, of the two crimes on June 26, 2019. The evidence at trial demonstrated that Myres reported a burglary of her home to the San Francisco Police Department on March 25, 2016. As part of her report to the police, she claimed numerous items were stolen, including the firearm, her San Francisco Sheriff’s Department (SFSD)-issued radio, and numerous luxury goods. After making the report, Myres repeatedly refused to cooperate with the investigation. Then, in May 2016, Myres filed an insurance claim under her homeowner’s policy. In her claim, Myres stated that the SFSD-issued firearm, the SFSD-issued radio, and the luxury goods had been stolen. Myres asserted in her insurance claim that she was entitled to over $67,000 in reimbursement for all of the items stolen.
An investigation by the FBI revealed that Myres made numerous false statements in her insurance claim. For example, Myres told the insurance company she had no suspects in the burglary and no estranged boyfriends who might have been responsible. Nevertheless, the evidence showed that while she had been working at the San Francisco County Jail, Myres had carried on a romantic relationship with an inmate, Antoine Fowler. Immediately after Fowler was released from custody in January 2016, he went to Myres’ house where he lived until March 24, 2016, the morning of the claimed burglary, when he moved out after a late-night dispute with Myres.
In addition, the evidence demonstrated Myres made numerous false statements in the insurance claim about the items she claimed had been stolen. For example, she falsely claimed she owned the SFSD-issued firearm and SFSD-issued radio that she said had been stolen, and provided false details about the purchase prices and locations to bolster her claim. She also made false statements about items that had been stolen, including claiming that three items – a Louis Vuitton purse, Gucci boots, and a fox fur vest – were stolen; all three of these items were located in her house when the FBI conducted a search in February 2017.
Following its investigation into Myres and Fowler, the FBI arrested Myres and Fowler on February 2, 2017, and found Myres’ SFSD-issued firearm in Fowler’s possession.
On April 11, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted Myres and Fowler. The grand jury charged Myres with one count each of mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341, and wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343. The grand jury also charged Myres with misprision of a felony, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 4, for deliberately concealing from law enforcement that Fowler had her firearm. The trial jury found Myres guilty of the wire fraud and mail fraud counts and acquitted her of the misprision of a felony charge.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Seeborg ordered Myres to serve 14 months of supervised release to begin after the prison term is concluded. Judge Seeborg described Myres’ conduct as “shameful” and agreed with a court document assessing Myres’ role in the offenses—the document contained the following assessment: “when those sworn to uphold the law become the very ones who break the law, the entire criminal justice system is undermined.”
Judge Seeborg ordered Myres released on a $1,000,000 secured bond until she surrenders to the Bureau of Prisons to begin serving her prison term. Judge Seeborg ordered Myres to surrender on or before January 28, 2020.
For his part in the events, Fowler pleaded guilty on May 14, 2019, to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). Fowler was released on a $50,000 bond and remains out of custody pending sentencing. Judge Seeborg scheduled Fowler’s sentencing for January 7, 2020. The maximum statutory penalty for felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), is 10 years imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence will be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura Vartain and Nicholas Walsh are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Helen Yee, Kimberly Richardson, Margoth Turcios, Sutton Pierce, and Ian Meader. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI and the San Francisco Police Department.