Building owner, insurance agent sentenced to federal prison for - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Building owner, insurance agent sentenced to federal prison for Logan arson scheme

Posted: Updated:

A Logan businessman and the owner of an insurance agency who orchestrated a scheme to burn a commercial building down two years ago and share the insurance proceeds have been sentenced to federal prison and ordered to make restitution.

James Gregory Glick, 44, of Logan and William Jamey Thompson, 45, of Chapmanville, had been indicted in August for conspiracy to torch the building, located at 111 Stratton Street, in order to fraudulently collect a $1,010,000 insurance payout.

Glick, who purchased the building for $50,000 in January 2012, was sentenced to seven years in federal prison, and Thompson, owner of Baisden & Associates, will spend five years behind bars.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Thompson received $50,000 for writing the $1 million policy from General Star Indemnity Co.

He said three co-conspirators – Guy R. Miller Jr., 40, of Logan and Michael D. Williams, 44, both of Logan, and Shawn C. Simon, 41, of Charleston – have admitted to being part of the conspiracy and are slated to be sentenced later in May for their roles in the conspiracy.

Goodwin said Miller enlisted the help of Simon and Williams to torch the building. Williams spread 15 gallons of fuel throughout the first floor of the building. When he lit the match, the fumes ignited, triggering an explosion that blew the top of the building's exterior across the street, Goodwin said.

He said the three men were caught on a security camera at a steakhouse across the street that Glick also owned, so Glick had Miller and Simon destroy the restaurant's digital video recorder in order to cover up the crime.

Unable to prove arson, Goodwin said General Star in May paid Glick the $1,010,000 insured value, which he then shared with his co-conspirators. In June, however, criminal investigators from the Internal Revenue Service, working with West Virginia State Police seized the remaining $450,000 in fraud proceeds from accounts controlled by Glick. Over the course of the next six weeks, the agents developed cooperating witnesses and obtained audio and video recordings of efforts by Glick to obstruct the federal grand jury investigation by paying Miller $8,000 to lie if he was called as a witness.

In addition to the $1,010,000 restitution order to repay General Star, the court also ordered Glick and Thompson to reimburse the City of Logan $3,900 for emergency personnel response costs.

Miller is set to be sentenced on May 28, while Williams and Simon will be sentenced the following day.

The West Virginia State Police and the IRS Criminal Investigation Division conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Ryan is in charge of the prosecution. U.S. District Judge Thomas E. Johnston sentenced the two men.