Ex-mayor, wife are sentenced to prison

Posted: Sunday, May 04, 2008

FAIRBANKS - The former mayor of Alaska's second largest city and his wife have been sentenced to prison for misusing government grants.

Former Fairbanks Mayor Jim Hayes was sentenced Friday to 5½ years for his role in the misuse of more than $450,000 in grants sent to a social services agency.

His wife, who goes by Chris Hayes, got three years. Both have been ordered to report to prison within six weeks.

The three-term mayor was convicted in February by a federal jury. He was convicted of 16 of the 27 counts he was charged with, including conspiracy, theft, fraud, misapplication of federal funds, money laundering and failing to file tax returns.

The couple was accused of diverting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the nonprofit LOVE Social Services, which they helped found. They are accused of using the money to help complete construction of the new $2 million Lily of the Valley Church of God in Christ where he is pastor, and for personal use.

His wife previously pleaded guilty to a reduced number of charges.

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