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Press Release

Two West Virginia men charged with wire fraud

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

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Jeffery L. Burdine, 38, of Hundred, West Virginia, and Devin K. Wright, 25, of Fairmont, West Virginia, with wire fraud, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.

Burdine owned and operated Express Towing, a towing company in Hundred, West Virginia, through which he would assist customers to rent trucks from national rental companies, such as Penske, the Avis Budget Group, and U-Haul. Burdine allegedly conspired with various customers to stage false motor vehicle accidents involving the rented trucks. Instead of calling the national rental companies and arranging for their preferred and approved towing companies to tow the damaged vehicles, Burdine allegedly towed the trucks himself or had the customers return the trucks to his business. He would then allegedly make interstate telephone calls to the national rental companies in which he would demand payment of his towing fees before he would return the truck to the rental companies.

Burdine and Wright are each charged with one count of “Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud” and two counts of “Wire Fraud.” They each face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each of the three counts. 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. Attorney Robert McWilliams is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is leading the inquiry.

An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated January 8, 2016