FRESNO, CA—Phillip Jacob Shinen, 32, formerly of Madera, was arrested today in Southern California on a charge of wire fraud relating to the fraudulent sale of websites, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. The May 17, 2012 indictment was unsealed following his arrest. Shinen is scheduled to appear today before a United States Magistrate Judge in Santa Ana, California.
The indictment alleges that between February 2007 and March 2008, Shinen advertised and sold 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.
The maximum statutory penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison. The actual sentence, if convicted, 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.
The charges are only allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.