EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSFour People Indicted In Alleged Arson, Fraud Scheme
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Kera Mashek
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Also Contributing: Bob Aaron
Reported: Sep. 3, 2013 2:41 PM EDT
Updated: Sep. 4, 2013 9:38 AM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
A federal grand jury has indicted a former Logan city councilman and three others on claims they purchased a vacant building, inflated its worth to a million dollars on an insurance policy, then burned it down.
Indictments unsealed Tuesday name former Logan councilman James Gregory Glick as the key player. The feds were at Glick's restaurant, 317 Steakhouse, seizing his assets and records Tuesday. Also in the indictment--exotic dance club owner Guy MIller, insurance company operator William Jamey Thompson and Shawn Simon.
The indictment alleges Thompson took a $75,000 payoff to inflate the value of Glick's building on an insurance policy by $950,000. It also claims Miller and Simon set fire to the building on Stratton Street in downtown Logan back in February 2012.
A fifth man, Phillip Workman, Jr. has been arrested for witness tampering in the case.
The federal charges are the talk of Logan, the result of a year and a half long investigation, and the current charges could be just the beginning of this arson case unraveling.
"It just makes me very happy that the investigation was pursued and that people like that are going to have to pay for what they've done," said Ken Lee, Logan City councilman.
Ken Lee and Donna Willis serve on Logan's city council. Both know one of their predecessors, James Gregory Glick, who now faces federal charges related to an arson fire last year. They also know the other three men charged in the alleged scheme to jack up the property value of a vacant building on Stratton Street, set it on fire, and cash in on the insurance claim.
"I was shocked a little this could happen, but not totally surprised after you think of the situation. They were all tied in together: politically, socially, and business wise," Lee said.
"It's disheartening because they're on city council and are here to help people, clean the city up and get the city taken care of and run it, you know. And here they're out doing crooked things," said Willis.
You can still see damage from the fire that gutted the vacant building on what's now just a parking lot. The Logan Fire Chief is among those glad charges have now been filed against those who intentionally set the property on fire, saying they undoubtedly endangered many lives and property when they did it.
In fact, Chief Scott Beckett suffered a serious knee injury while fighting the fire on Stratton last year.
"It is gratifying. You know, to go and do this job--to see somebody actually be arrested for doing this and putting that many people in harm's way...You know, when we go out of here on a structure fire somebody's laced with gasoline, it's like playing with a loaded weapon and it's not fun," Beckett said.
Now, city leaders are just hoping the men accused of setting the fire and scheming to profit from it., will be punished.
"I just hope everything gets settled and taken care of and people that's involved get what they deserve," said Willis.
The 317 Steakhouse is still open for business, workers there didn't want to talk about the charges against owner Greg Glick. Another person charged in this case, Jamey Thompson owns an insurance business. No word on whether it is still operating.
City leaders believe at least two other people will face criminal charges related to this arson, insurance fraud scheme.
A federal grand jury has indicted a former Logan city councilman and three others on claims they purchased a vacant building, inflated its worth on an insurance policy and burned it down.
Indictments unsealed on Tuesday name former councilman James Gregory Glick, exotic dance club owner Guy R. Miller, insurance company operator William Janey Thompson and Shawn Simon.
The indictments claim Glick purchased a building across from a steakhouse he owns in January 2012 for $50,000 and worked with Thompson to buy an insurance policy claiming it was worth $1 million. Miller and
Simon allegedly set fire to the building on Feb. 1, 2012 for $75,000. Prosecutors claim Glick split the more than $1 million proceeds with the men.
It was not immediately clear whether the men had attorneys.
Four people have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Charleston in connection with an alleged fraud scheme that the indictment said involved intentionally setting fire to a two-unit rental commercial property to unlawfully collect more than $1 million in insurance proceeds on a fire loss claim.
James Gregory Glick, Guy R. Miller, Shawn C. Simon and William Jamey Thompson are named in a 36-count indictment that includes mail fraud, wire fraud and unlawful monetary structuring charges.
The indictment said that Glick operated a restaurant and bar at 317 Steakhouse at 110 Stratton St. in Logan and another person known to the grand jury operated a residential real estate appraisal business. Thompson operated an independent insurance agency, Baisden and Associates, with offices at 116 Nick Savas Drive. Miller operated a Kirby sales and service business and an exotic dance club, “L.A.’s Finest.” Simon, a known associate and first cousin of Miller, occasionally worked for Miller.
The indictment said 11 Stratton St. was a vacant commercial rental property located across the street from the steakhouse. According to the indictment, the scheme was to set fire to the building to unlawfully collect the insurance proceeds on the claim.
The indictment said the fire occurred Feb. 1, 2012.
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