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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Orleans Man, Anthony R. Thomas, Pleads Guilty To 2007 And 2009 Arsons, Insurance Fraud And False Statements

ANTHONY R. THOMAS, age 48, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, pled guilty today to a nine-count superseding bill of information charging him with multiple criminal counts for his involvement in a 2007 scheme to burn his rental property for fire insurance, a 2009 scheme to burn another rental property for his accomplice to collect fire insurance and his attempt at covering up his involvement in the 2009 fire, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite, Jr.

Specifically, THOMAS pled guilty to:  one count of conspiracy to commit arson; two counts of arson; one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud; three counts of wire fraud; one count of using arson to commit conspiracy, mail, and wire fraud; and one count of making false statements.

According to court documents, THOMAS and others attempted in 2007 to defraud his homeowner’s fire insurance company and their rental fire insurance companies by engaging in sham leases and filing inflated claims for property allegedly burned in the fire.  THOMAS and others were involved in a similar scheme in 2009 where a renter filed inflated claims for property allegedly burned in the arson fire.  THOMAS, who was burned in the 2009 fire, concocted a false story to federal agents to explaining his burns.

U.S. District Court Judge Susie Morgan scheduled THOMAS’s sentencing for June 18, 2014.  He faces a minimum term of imprisonment of seventeen (17) years and a maximum term of imprisonment of fifty (50) years. 

This case was investigated jointly by Special Agents of the Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and arson investigators of the New Orleans Fire Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Sanders.

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