Former Madera man sentenced in website fraud

A former Madera resident was sentenced Tuesday to 27 months in prison for wire fraud related to the fraudulent sale of websites, according to a Department of Justice news release.

Court documents claim Phillip Jacob Shinen, 33, advertised and sold websites to the public which he promised would produce a certain threshold income. He also promised the purchasers he would train them to use the sites.

However, the websites, which were sold between February 2007 and March 2008, did not generate the level of income or Internet traffic claimed by Shinen.

Shinen used a number of aliases to make it difficult for the website purchasers to contact him, according to the release.

The case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cyber Crimes Task Force, which includes law enforcement officers from the FBI, Fresno Police Department and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.

Shinen was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii. Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry Z. Carbajal III prosecuted the case, according to the release.