Springfield Landlord Charged With Fraud
BOSTON – A Springfield man was charged yesterday in U.S. District Court in Springfield with making fraudulent claims for insurance proceeds following fires at two multi-family homes in Springfield.
Wilkenson Knaggs, 42, was indicted with mail fraud, forging check endorsements, and money laundering.
The Indictment alleges that following a November 16, 2008 fire on Franklin Street, Knaggs submitted a fraudulent contract for rehabilitating the three-family house in order to obtain a payout on his homeowner’s policy. He is also charged with forging the endorsement of the City of Springfield on a second check, cashing the check at a Boston check cashing company, and using the proceeds to buy a two-family house at on Central Street. The Indictment also charges Knaggs with putting the title of the Central Street property in the name of a relative and using the relative to make a claim on the insurance policy after a March 7, 2010 fire.
If convicted, Knaggs faces up to 20 years in prison, five years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; John G. Collins, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; Kevin Niland, Postal Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Goodwin of Ortiz’s Springfield Branch Unit.
The details contained in the Indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.