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West Virginia couple sentenced to over 3 years in fraud case

March 17, 2020 GMT

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia couple were sentenced to more than three years each after pleading guilty in a scheme to fraudulently collect renter’s insurance benefits.

Jimmie Thompson, 27, and Thanikwa Thompson, 25, of Martinsburg, were sentenced to 37 months each Monday and ordered to pay more than $54,000 in restitution, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell said in a news release. They pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in December.

The couple took out an $85,000 renter’s insurance policy from Allstate Insurance Co. in February 2018, Powell’s office said in a news release. They purchased a space heater later that month and put it against an inflatable air mattress in their apartment before leaving the apartment with their dog to let the heater catch the apartment on fire, prosecutors said.

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The couple filed a fraudulent claim with Allstate to recover $50,000 of losses from the fire and for a hotel room for several months of temporary housing, the release said.