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Press Release

Former St. Louis Insurance Agent Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Aiding Reality Show Star’s Murder Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS – U.S. District Judge John A. Ross on Monday sentenced a former insurance agent to three years in prison for helping a former reality show star fraudulently obtain life insurance on the nephew the star later had killed.

Judge Ross said there was no evidence that Waiel “Wally” Rebhi Yaghnam knew that a murder was going to occur when he committed insurance fraud, but added, “It was a foreseeable outcome that bad things were going to happen.” 

Yaghnam, 44, pleaded guilty in July to a charge of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. He admitted conspiring with James Timothy Norman to fraudulently obtain a life insurance policy on Norman’s nephew, Andre Montgomery Jr.

Norman and Yaghnam began submitting life insurance applications in October 2014 containing numerous false statements regarding Montgomery’s income, net worth, medical history, employment and family background in an attempt to obtain policies.

One $200,000 policy was ultimately issued that contained a $200,000 accidental death rider that would pay out if Montgomery died of something other than natural causes, and a $50,000 term rider that would pay out if Montgomery died within 10 years of the policy’s issuance.

After Montgomery, 21, was fatally shot by Travell Anthony Hill at 3964 Natural Bridge Avenue in St. Louis on March 14, 2016, Norman repeatedly contacted the insurance company about the claim, and later hired an attorney to help. Yaghnam placed two telephone calls to the insurance agencies seeking to file a claim.

Montgomery’s relatives pointed out in statements during Monday’s hearing that Yaghnam coached Norman on how to pretend to be Montgomery to obtain the policy, a policy that was necessary to make the murder-for-hire profitable for Norman.

Norman and Montgomery appeared on the reality show Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s

Hill, 31, was sentenced last month to 32 years in prison for a charge of conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire and one count of murder-for-hire.

The sentencing for Norman, 43, who was convicted in September of conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, is set for March 2.

Another co-defendant, Terica Ellis, 38, is scheduled to be sentenced January 10 on the murder-for-hire conspiracy charge. Ellis, an exotic dancer from Memphis, Tennessee, admitted helping Norman find Montgomery, provide his location to Hill and lure Montgomery outside before the shooting.

The case was investigated by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Angie Danis and Gwendolyn Carroll are prosecuting the case.

Updated November 8, 2022

Violent Crime
Financial Fraud