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Press Release

Berkeley County couple sentenced for 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, were sentenced today for to wire fraud, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Jimmie, age 27, was sentenced to 37 months incarceration. Thanikwa, age 25, was sentenced to 37 months incarceration. Each pled guilty to one count of “Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud” in December 2019. 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. 

The Thompsons were ordered to pay $54,891.28 in restitution. 

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

Chief U.S. District Judge Gina M. Groh presided.

Updated March 16, 2020

Financial Fraud