Former San Francisco sheriff's deputy sentenced to 14 months in prison for insurance fraud

A former San Francisco sheriff's deputy was sentenced in federal court Tuesday to one year and two months in prison for two charges of fraud in an insurance claim for a 2016 burglary at her home.

April Myres, 55, of San Francisco, a former 20-year veteran of the Sheriff's Department, was given the prison term by U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg of San Francisco.

She was convicted by a jury in Seeborg's court in June of wire and mail fraud for submitting an insurance claim for $67,000 for items stolen in a burglary on the night of March 24-25, 2016.

The jury acquitted her of a third charge of misprision of a felony in allegedly failing to tell authorities that a former jail inmate with whom she had had a romantic relationship, Antoine Fowler, had her Glock pistol. 

Myres allowed Fowler to live with her for two months after his release from jail in January 2016 until the night of March 23-24, when the couple broke up after a fight, according to documents in the case.

Myres contended that although she did not disclose her relationship to Fowler to police investigating the burglary, she did not know at the time that he was the burglar or that he had the gun. Fowler was arrested with the gun 10 months later.

Fowler pleaded guilty to one count of being an ex-felon in possession of a gun and is due to be sentenced by Seeborg on Jan. 7.

Prosecutors alleged that Myres' insurance claim for $67,000 for 43 items was fraudulent because it included claims for three items worth $3,185 that were found in her home and for $6,389 worth of items that had been issued to her by the Sheriff's Department, including the gun.

Photos of some of the stolen items were found on Fowler's cellphone. He was allegedly texting the photos to his sisters in an attempt to fence the items soon after the burglary, according to a defense sentencing memorandum. Myres contended she did not know Fowler was the burglar until the FBI showed her the photos and texts.

U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Abraham Simmons said that during the sentencing, Seeborg called Myres' conduct "shameful." 

Prosecutors wrote in a sentencing brief that Myres engaged in "a scheme to defraud that prioritized her financial gain and employment at the expense of her coworkers, the San Franicsco Sheriff's Department and public safety."

Prosecutors asked for a sentence of two years in prison, while defense attorneys, arguing that Myres was convicted only of a "small and unsuccessful insurance fraud," asked for a sentence of probation with no prison time. 

Myres is due to begin serving her sentence on Jan. 28.