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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

Friday, August 9, 2013

Oneida, New York - Man sentenced to 217 months imprisonment, to be followed by a three year term of supervised release.

United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian announced today the sentencing of an Oneida area man on charges of arson and insurance fraud.

JEFFREY E. TRUMAN, SR., 55, formerly of Oneida, New York, appeared for sentencing today in federal court in Syracuse on charges of aiding and abetting an arson, two counts of mail fraud, and one count of using fire to commit a federal felony. The charges stem from a fire that destroyed the former Oneida Casket Company Factory building in Oneida. In November 2005, TRUMAN, along with two partners purchased the vacant factory buildings for $175,000. On November 12, 2006, five days before an insurance policy was to lapse, the buildings were destroyed by fire. Subsequently, TRUMAN submitted an insurance claim for $4,178,500 in fire related losses. A subsequent investigation determined that the fire had been intentionally set by TRUMAN’s son, Jeffrey Truman, Jr. On November 3, 2010, a jury found that TRUMAN, SR. had aided and abetted his son in committing the arson and subsequently attempted to defraud Erie Insurance Company in submission of his fire claim.

United States District Court Judge Norman A. Mordue sentenced TRUMAN to 217 months imprisonment, to be followed by a three year term of supervised release. TRUMAN was also ordered to make restitution to Erie Insurance Company in the amount of $548,406.55.

Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, said: “The reckless scheme orchestrated by the defendant placed scores of innocent people in harm’s way and could well have resulted in a horrific tragedy. I commend the Oneida Police Department for their collaboration with DFS on the case and thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s efforts to bring the case to a successful conclusion culminating in today’s sentencing.”

The case was investigated by the Oneida City Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, the New York State Police, the Financial Frauds and Consumer Protection Division of the New York State Department of Financial Services, and, the Oneida Fire Department Cause and Origin Team. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Edward R. Broton and Gwendolyn E. Carroll.

Updated January 29, 2015