An Idaho inmate has received five years' probation after pleading guilty to mail and wire fraud in a phony gift and travel promotion business in Ogden.
Mike Hoskins, 45, of Nampa, Idaho, also was warned Wednesday by U.S. District Judge David K. Winder that a suspended 5-year federal prison sentence would be imposed if he drove a vehicle or became intoxicated during his probationary period.Hoskins is serving a sentence in Idaho for drunken driving and will be required to spend 120 days in a Utah halfway house or alcohol-treatment center once his Idaho prison time is completed.
Government attorneys said Hoskins has at least 10 convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol, three of them in Utah, and had failed to show up at some of his sentencing hearings.
Hoskins was one of five people indicted by a federal grand jury for selling substantially valueless gifts and travel certificates in a telemarketing operation that did business under the names Commercial Research International, International Travel Council and Rainbow's End.
The businesses all operated in Ogden between August 1986 and December 1987, before Hoskins began serving his Idaho term.
Also charged in the indictment handed up June 24 were Jerry Barney, Ronald Lengacher, Warren Rupp and his wife, Terry McGill Rupp.
Hoskins had pleaded innocent Aug. 3 before a U.S. magistrate but changed his plea to guilty on Oct. 27 in exchange for having a number of charges dropped.
Prosecutors said they are in the process of negotiating a plea bargain with the other four defendants.
The 35-count indictment against Hoskins said that telephone and mail solicitations were used to sell bogus coupons for vacations and phony flight passes for free round-trip air travel to unwary buyers.