By Rachel Dove
CHARLESTON - A pair of Logan County men were sentenced in federal court Thursday in connection with anarson scheme, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced.
James Gregory Glick, 44, of Logan, was sentenced to seven years, three months in prison, while William Jamey Thompson, 45, of Chapmanville, was sentenced to five years in prison, both for a conspiracy to burn a building in downtown Logan and fraudulently collect the insurance proceeds.
In January 2012, Glick purchased a commercial building located at 111 Stratton Street in Logan for $50,000, across the street from the restaurant he owned and operated, the 317 Steakhouse. He then worked with Thompson, owner of the insurance agency Baisden & Associates, to obtain a $1 million insurance policy on the property from General Star Indemnity Company. Thompson, in exchange for placing coverage, received $50,000.
During the early hours of Feb. 1, 2012, co-conspirator Guy R. Miller, Jr., 40, of Logan, enlisted the assistance of Shawn C. Simon, 41, of Charleston, and Michael D. Williams, 44, of Logan, to help torch the building. Williams spread approximately 15 gallons of fuel throughout the first floor of the building. When he lit the match, the fumes ignited, creating an explosion that blew the top of the building’s exterior across the street. The three culprits were caught on 317’s security camera; Glick had Miller and Simon destroy the restaurant’s digital video recorder in order to conceal the crime.
Without sufficient evidence of the arson, General Star paid Glick the $1,010,000 insurance policy proceeds in May 2012, and Glick began sharing the money with his co-conspirators. In June 2013, criminal investigators from the Internal Revenue Service, working with the 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, who obtained audio and video recordings of efforts by Glick to obstruct the federal grand jury investigation by paying Miller $8,000 to provide false testimony if he was called as a witness.
The conspirators were indicted late last August, and ultimately pleaded guilty to their respective roles in the conspiracy to commit arson and to defraud General Star.
In addition to the order to repay General Star $1,010,000, 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 Wednesday. Williams and Simon will be sentenced Thursday.
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 handed down the sentences Thursday.