Former Chapmanville Insurance Agent Pleads Guilty To Federal Charges In Connection With Arson Scheme
William J. Thompson accepted $50k to help arsonist collect $1 million insurance payment following blaze of Logan office building
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A former Chapmanville insurance agent who assisted an arsonist in obtaining a fraudulent insurance policy following the February 2012 blaze of a Logan office building pleaded guilty today to federal conspiracy charges, announced U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin. William Jamey Thompson, 44, entered a guilty plea today to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and aiding and abetting arson before United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston in Charleston.
In November 2011, James Gregory Glick, 44, of Logan, arranged to have an office building located at 111 Stratton Street in Logan burned to collect more than $1 million in insurance proceeds. In late December 2011, the building was purchased by a known person for $45,000 prior to the scheme. That person, in turn, immediately sold the property to Glick in early January 2012 purportedly for $50,000.
On the night of February 1, 2012, Guy Miller, 39, of Logan, along with Shawn C. Simon, 41, of Charleston and Michael Williams, 44, of Logan, worked together to set the fire to the building by spreading gasoline throughout the main floor.
Mr. Glick then paid Thompson approximately $50,000 to obtain a fraudulently-inflated $1 million insurance policy from General Star Indemnity Company (“General Star”) in connection with the scheme.
Mr. Glick and co-defendant Mr. Miller both previously pleaded guilty last month to arson and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Mr. Glick also pleaded guilty to conducting unlawful monetary transactions, and structuring currency transactions in connection with the scheme. Mr. Simon previously pleaded guilty in November to obstruction of justice for his role in destroying a security camera that captured the arsonists fleeing the scene.
Additionally, Mr. Glick made illegal transactions of more than $10,000 from the Logan Bank & Trust (“LB&T”) on more than nine occasions. Mr. Glick also structured more than $170,000 in monies from accounts at LB&T during the conspiracy. “Structuring” involves the breaking down of cash transactions in amounts of $10,000 or less for the purpose of avoiding a financial institution’s reporting requirements to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Glick faces a minimum of seven years in prison when he is sentenced on February 19, 2014, by United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston.
Miller, who also previously pleaded guilty in November to a federal drug charge, participated in an oxycodone distribution conspiracy in and around Logan County during the spring of 2011. Miller faces a minimum of seven years in prison when he is sentenced on February 19, 2014.
Simon faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on February 20, 2014.
An information has been filed in the case involving Williams, but a plea hearing has not yet been scheduled.
Thompson faces up to faces a minimum of seven years in prison when he is sentenced on March 24, 2014.
The IRS, the West Virginia State Police and the West Virginia Insurance Commission conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Ryan is in charge of the prosecution.