Ex-Fairbanks mayor convicted of fraud

Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2008

FAIRBANKS - Former Fairbanks Mayor Jim Hayes has been found guilty of 16 counts involving the misuse of more than $450,000 in government grants sent to a social services agency.

The federal jury returned its verdict Monday, convicting him on charges of conspiracy, theft, fraud, misapplication of federal funds, money laundering and failing to file tax returns.

Hayes sat subdued, hands in his lap, as District Court Judge Ralph Beistline read the verdicts, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported on its Web site Monday.

Hayes was tried on 27 counts. The jury acquitted him on four and was at impasse on seven.

The former three-term mayor was accused by the government of helping funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars to help finish a new $2 million home for the Lily of the Valley Church of God in Christ, where he serves as pastor, and for personal spending.

The money was issued to the LOVE Social Services tutoring and mentoring center, which was run by his wife. The funds were part of $2.9 million steered to the tutoring center through congressional earmarks by U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.

Hayes' wife, Murilda "Chris" Hayes, earlier pleaded guilty to a reduced number of charges. She did not testify against her husband and was not in the courtroom Monday.

Sentencing was scheduled for May 2.

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