Former Madera Resident Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud in Connection with Fraudulent Sale of Websites
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 24, 2013|
FRESNO, CA—Phillip Jacob Shinen, 33, formerly of Madera, pleaded guilty today before Senior District Judge Anthony W. Ishii to one count of wire fraud relating to the fraudulent sale of websites, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, between February 2007 and March 2008, Shinen advertised and sold various websites to the public. He guaranteed to purchasers that the websites would produce a certain threshold income and promised that he would train purchasers to use the websites. The websites, however, did not generate the level of income or Internet traffic claimed by Shinen. In order to make it difficult for the website purchasers to contact him, Shinen used a number of aliases.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cyber Crimes Task Force, which is made up of law enforcement officers from the FBI, Fresno Police Department, and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Henry Z. Carbajal, III is prosecuting the case.
Shinen is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Ishii on November 18, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. The maximum statutory penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.