Maud couple pleads not guilty to conspiracy, mail fraud charges in Georgia federal court

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A Maud, Texas, couple accused of netting more than $4 million in a phony invoice scheme involving a timber investment company pleaded not guilty last week to an 11-count indictment in a federal court in Georgia.

James Thompson, 46, and April Thompson, 41, allegedly exploited April Thompson’s position as an account manager at Kingwood Forestry Services to defraud Forest Investment Associates over an 8-year period beginning in 2011. FIA is suing the Thompsons and their businesses, James Thompson Trucking and James Thompson Racing, in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

A criminal indictment was issued recently in the Atlanta Division of the Northern District of Georgia in connection with the alleged scheme. The indictment accuses the Thompsons of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and 10 counts of mail fraud.

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The Thompsons allegedly used the money to finance a lavish lifestyle including construction of a house and swimming pool, the purchase of valuable coins and gold and vacations.

April Thompson and James Thompson appeared for arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher Bly with a federal public defender. Their criminal cases have not been scheduled for trial.

U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder III recently addressed FIA’s claim that the Thompsons are violating a court order meant to preserve their assets by selling equipment and gold coins, by gifting property and cars to friends and family and by spending money on trips and pool furniture. The civil case is set for trial in 2020 in Texarkana.

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