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Press Release

Berkeley County couple admit to fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of West Virginia

MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Jimmie and Thanikwa Thompson, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, have admitted to wire fraud, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Jimmie, age 26, and Thanikwa, age 25, each pled guilty to one count of “Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud.” The Thompsons secured a renter’s insurance policy from Allstate Insurance Company for $85,000 in February 2018. Later that month, the Thompsons purchased a space heater from a retailer and positioned it against an inflatable air mattress in their apartment on Winchester Avenue in Martinsburg. The couple then left the apartment with their dog to allow the space heater time to catch the apartment on fire. They then filed a fraudulent claim with Allstate to recover $50,000 of losses from the fire, and to secure a hotel room for several months of temporary housing. 

Jimme and Thanikwa are each facing up to 20 years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lara Omps-Botteicher and Jarod J. Douglas are prosecuting the cases on behalf of the government. The West Virginia State Fire Marshal and Allstate Insurance Company investigated. 

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Trumble presided.

Updated December 18, 2019

Financial Fraud