Stockton couple given break in fraud case

A federal judge in Mobile on Friday calculated advisory sentencing ranges that would have sent a Stockton couple convicted of fraud to prison for more than 10 years.

After hearing from relatives and friends of Michael Laird Hyatt, 51, and Pamela Lynn Ganey Hyatt, though, U.S. District Judge William Steele decided those sentences would have vastly exceeded the crime. He sentenced Pamela Hyatt to a year and day in prison for bankruptcy fraud and ordered Michael Hyatt to prison for five years.

Prosecutors contended that the Hyatts sought to wipe away their debts in a series of bankruptcies and then lied about their income — including tens of thousands of dollars from gambling winnings that they listed on tax returns — to conceal assets from more than 70 creditors.

Stockton couple given break in fraud case