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WOMAN SENT TO PRISON, TOLD TO REPAY $247,000

A former Lancaster woman who stole almost a quarter of a million dollars from a woman and her dying husband was sentenced Wednesday to three to nine years in prison.

Phyllis Ann Nagalski, 45, was also ordered by State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia to repay the woman $247,000 under a court order that cannot be voided in bankruptcy proceedings in the future.

Nagalski, who pleaded guilty to grand larceny and has been jailed here since she was arrested in New Orleans and extradited in June, declined to comment.

Court officials said Nagalski befriended the woman while undergoing alcohol rehabilitation in 1999 in Erie County Medical Center, where the woman's husband was being treated for cancer. The woman's husband has since died.

Nagalski talked her way into the victim's Lancaster home, falsely saying she was suffering from throat cancer and needed financial help and could repay her victim through an accident lawsuit she falsely said she had pending, sources said.

An investigation was begun by the Lancaster Police Department after Nagalski had moved to New Orleans last year and the victim discovered the Internal Revenue Service threatening to seize many of her assets because of unpaid taxes.

According to court records, Nagalski has a string of criminal cases involving drugs and drunken driving dating from 1988.

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