A husband and wife from Maud, Texas, were sentenced to more than six years in prison by a federal judge in Georgia this month.
James Thompson, 49, and April Thompson, 44, both pleaded guilty to wire fraud involving Forest Investment Associates. April Thompson worked at
April Thompson worked for a Kingwood Forestry Services office in Texarkana, Texas. Kingwood is a natural resource consulting firm that provides forestry services to landowners. FIA contracted with Kingwood to retain contractors to provide field services on behalf of FIA’s clients, such as clearing land, road grading, or other services, subject to an agreed upon annual budget. After the work was completed, Kingwood would send invoices to FIA for the work performed by the contractors. FIA, in turn, paid the invoices directly to the contractors.
April Thompson submitted more than 400 phony invoices billing FIA for forestry work James Thompson never performed using her inside knowledge of the companies and accounts. From 2011 until the fraud was discovered in 2019, the Thompsons pocketed more than $4 million through their fraud. The Thompsons have been ordered to pay $5,143,209 in restitution in the criminal case in Georgia. They were sentenced April 13 to six years and eight months in federal prison by a judge in the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division.
The couple used the money stolen from FIA to prop up James Thompson’s trucking business, fund his race car hobby, install a pool at their home in Maud and take expensive vacations.
The couple has been found in contempt twice by a federal judge in Texarkana. FIA filed a civil suit against the Thompsons in 2019 and U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder III in the Eastern District of Texas, Texarkana Division, appointed a receiver to oversee their assets and income. The couple was found to have disregarded court orders in Texarkana prohibiting them from selling assets without the receiver’s permission and were found to have hidden a bank account from the receiver where they deposited income they attempted to conceal.