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Ex-Owner of Self-Service Gas Stations Sentenced to 4 Years in Loan Fraud Case

January 28, 1987|BILL RITTER | San Diego County Business Editor

SAN DIEGO — The former owner of a string of self-service gas stations has been sentenced to four years in prison for defrauding the federal Small Business Administration and several banks.

Albert Myrick Jr., 50, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge J. Lawrence Irving on Monday.

Myrick pleaded guilty in October to three counts of bank fraud and making false statements on a trust deed used in connection with an SBA loan. He was named in a 19-count federal grand jury indictment last August.

Myrick, former owner of 33 U-Fill self-service gas stations, admitted that he lied on two loan applications to First La Mesa Bank and to Mitsubishi Bank of San Diego last June and July. On the applications, Myrick used the name M.N. Davenport and submitted false credit information, according to the indictment.

In addition, Myrick forged two documents to release the security interest of a $300,000 SBA loan on property owned by him and his corporations, authorities charged. That loan has not been repaid and is now in default.

After his indictment, Myrick blamed many of his problems--which included severe financial woes at his business--on drug and alcohol addiction.

He traced his addictions to a 1977 accident when his dune buggy plunged off a 42-foot cliff near Pismo Beach. Myrick said he became addicted to morphine following the accident and subsequent surgery.

However, Assistant U.S. Atty. Charles S. Crandall said that Myrick "uses his problems as a justification" for his offenses. "His behavior typifies that of a con man who subverts all the rules to get ahead," Crandall said.

Peter J. Hughes, Myrick's attorney, told Irving that Myrick was a "different person" than he was last summer, and that the illegal actions were behind him.

A Louisiana native, Myrick came to San Diego in 1969 with only $10,000. Fourteen years later, he had built a mini-empire of 33 self-service gas stations, as well as a lumber and construction firm.

All of his businesses soured, however, as debts reached $900,000 by 1983. Myrick and his attorneys claimed that the drug and alcohol problems he described ended in early 1985.

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