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Escondido Man Ordered To Repay $1.1 Million Obtained In a Scam

An Escondido financial planner who raided trusts created for his clients was ordered today to repay $1.1 million and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Steven James Galliher, 60, was sentenced by Judge William Kronberger in two cases that involved six victims.

When Galliher was first charged in February 2009, only one victim was known, but authorities turned up others, Deputy District Attorney Paul Greenwood said.

"Several victims didn't even know they were victims, they had no clue," Greenwood said.

Galliher set up trust accounts, including life insurance policies, and named himself the trustee, according to the prosecutor. Galliher borrowed $25,000 to $35,000 against the policies without the knowledge of his clients to help fund a side business in hands-free cellular telephones that "never quite got off the ground," Greenwood said.

Galliher went to trial in March and was found guilty of seven counts of grand theft from a trust and theft from elders. He later pleaded guilty to a grand theft from a trust in the other case, Greenwood said.

The judge ordered restitution of more than $1.1 million to five victims in the first case, and over $352,000 in the second.

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