CHEHALIS MAN CONVICTED OF FRAUD AND GUN CHARGES RELATED TO 2007 MAIL BOX EXPLOSION
Out-of-Work Logger Blew Up Own Mailbox in Bid for Credibility as Fraud Investigator
KEVIN W. WILLIAMS, 45, of Chehalis, Washington, was convicted today of nine federal felony charges following a seven day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Robert J. Bryan. The jury deliberated about three hours before returning guilty verdicts on all counts: three counts of wire fraud, extortion, possession of a firearm without a serial number, destruction of a letter box, two counts of possession of an unregistered firearm (pipe bomb and zip gun), and making a false official statement. WILLIAMS was immediately taken into custody. He faces up to 20 years in prison when sentenced on December 23, 2010.
According to records filed in the case and testimony at trial, WILLIAMS hatched a scheme in 2007, to try to make money by claiming to have important information on a $90 million ponzi scheme being investigated in the Atlanta, Georgia area. WILLIAMS’ step-mother had been a victim of the scheme. WILLIAMS sent communications to various people, both victims and attorneys, involved in the federal court case in Atlanta, claiming that he knew where the assets in the ponzi scheme case had been hidden. WILLIAMS represented that he was an investigator and demanded money for the information. No one agreed to pay him.
In an attempt to gain credibility to his claim that he had information of value, WILLIAMS used a home-made bomb to blow up his mailbox. WILLIAMS apparently thought it would make people believe that someone was trying to stop him from revealing his information about the ponzi scheme. WILLIAMS and a co-hort staged the blast and called emergency responders. The blast was so powerful that WILLIAMS would have been badly injured if it had occurred as he described. He was checked at the hospital and released the same day having suffered only a few minor scratches on his forehead and ringing in his ears as injuries.
When the blast did not get the desired response from any of the ponzi victims, WILLIAMS sent emails with a threatening tone, and in April 2008, traveled to Atlanta where the ponzi scheme trial was about to begin. He was arrested by law enforcement with a variety of guns, ammunition and explosive components in his car. Following that arrest, one of WILLIAMS’ cohorts contacted law enforcement, and admitted lying to the police about WILLIAMS being the victim of the mail box bomb.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David Reese Jennings and Gregory A. Gruber.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.