You'll find Phillip Jacob Shinen all over the Interwebs, offering riches to those who join his assorted online ventures. The 32-year-old has one ad at the top of a site warning visitors about the old Nigerian email scam. "This is not MLM"--a multi-level marketing Ponzi scheme--"or a Scam, these are real online jobs!" he writes in another teaching folks how to earn large sending out bulk emails. Certainly a guy drawing attention to online sucker-seekers would not so openly seek them himself, right? Wrongski, according to the feds.
Shinen was hauled before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Santa Ana last week following his May 17 indictment for alleged wire fraud relating to the fraudulent sale of websites. According to the U.S. Attorney's office:
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.
His indictment follows an investigation by law enforcement in the area of Fresno and Madera, the small Central California town where Shinen used to reside, and here in Southern California, which includes his apparent new home in Aliso Viejo.
That line from the feds about using aliases to hide his tracks may be true, but simply knowing per the indictment where Shinen lived and worked, you can still pick up his cyber trail using his real name.
"I will teach you how to make money online working only 5 minutes per day!" he promises in a promotion of FundIt.net.
Shinen has also written online articles about making easy cash simply by taking online surveys.
"We have shown 1000s of people all over the world, in over 50 different countries, how to get paid for their opinions," he writes about his PayingSurveys.net. He goes on to quote rates of: $5 to $95 per hour to answer paid phone surveys; $50 to $150 per hour to participate in focus groups; $24 to $75 per hour to shop, eat, or see a movie; $8 to $35 per hour to drive your car; and up to $3,200 a month to test drive new cars.
RipoffReport.com outs Shinen in a complaint by a Saskatchewan, Canada, woman who says she was promised loads of money after buying 500,000 emails to send out via Shinen's Ad-Site.com. That prompted this response from the company:
We apologize for this customer's problems with the services offered by Phillip Shinen last year. Ad-Site.com was sold by Phillip Shinen to a new owner in Janurary of 2006. This report was filed by an unsatisfied client of Phillip's while he was managing the business.
What was that your momma said about things that look too good to be true?
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
"I love everything about Senior Helpers," Shinen, then of Senior Helpers of Fresno, writes in a testimonial for the franchiser. "I can honestly say I couldn't have picked a better business!"
Shinen Care LLC, which lists itself with the California Secretary of State as being in the business of in-home care for the elderly, is located in Santa Ana and includes Shinen and Tiffany Treadway as officers. A Tiffany Treadway was also an officer with Shinen at Senior Helpers of Fresno. She may also go by Tiffany Shinen, who is identified as the owner on the Senior Helpers of Santa Ana website that also includes Phillip Shinen as an officer.
Senior Helpers gives 2030 East Fourth St., Santa Ana, as its office address, so at least Shinen did not have to drive far to get to the federal courthouse last week. However, he may not be at that address long. The maximum statutory penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney.