Two Houston brothers were each sentenced this week to more than eight years in prison for wire fraud and aggravated identify theft in connection with operating a Web site that purported to raise money for the Salvation Army to help Hurricane Katrina victims.
The brothers were convicted in June after a four-day trial. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, they registered a Web site called www.salvationarmyonline.org on Sept. 3, 2005 - less than a week after the hurricane hit the gulf coast.
More than 250 people donated over $48,000 before the corresponding PayPal accounts were frozen because of reports of fraud, according to the prosecution.
U.S. District Judge David Hittner sentenced Steven Stephens, 24, to 63 months each on six convictions of wire fraud, prosecutors said Wednesday. U. S. Attorney Don. DeGabrielle told the Houston Chronicle that Hittner sentenced Bartholomew Stephens, 27, to concurrent 57-month prison terms on each of his six wire fraud convictions.