Austin lawyer gets 17 years, must repay $37M in stock scam

HOUSTON (AP) — An attorney from Austin must serve 17 years in prison and repay $37 million dollars for stock-related fraud and harboring a fugitive he represented.

Patrick Lanier was sentenced Monday night by a federal judge in Houston. The case also involves 73-year-old Harris “Butch” Ballow, formerly of Galveston County.

The 67-year-old Lanier in 2014 was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, harboring and concealing Ballow and assisting a federal offender.

Ballow in 2003 pleaded guilty to money laundering and agreed to assist the Securities and Exchange Commission — then fled. Prosecutors say Lanier helped the fugitive run a company that bilked hundreds more investors.

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Ballow was arrested in 2010 in Mexico, extradited in 2011 and sentenced to 10 years in prison, plus ordered to repay $10 million.