Maud, Texas, couple indicted for wire fraud in Georgia federal court

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James and April Thompson of Maud were arrested Oct. 1 on an indictment out of the Northern District of Georgia which accuses them of conspiring to defraud a timber investment company.

The Thompsons are currently free on bond.

The first count of the indictment accuses the couple of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Counts two through eleven of the indictment allege specific instances of wire fraud.

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Forest Investment Associates, a timber investment company, used Kingwood Forest Services, which has an office in Texarkana, as a consultant which hired contractors to perform forestry work on timber properties associated with FIA. April Thompson managed accounts for Kingwood.

“Beginning in approximately 2011, the defendants, April and James Thompson, conspired to defraud FIA by submitting fraudulent invoices that falsely claimed that James Thompson had provided services to the FIA timber properties. In actuality, James Thompson did not provide the services claimed on the invoices and was never engaged as a contractor for either Kingwood or FIA. This scheme caused FIA to pay James Thompson over $4 million for services that were never rendered,” according to the indictment. “The defendants took a number of steps to hide their involvement in the fraud scheme. For instance, as the Kingwood accounts manager, April Thompson knew how much money FIA had budgeted for each timber property. The defendants used this knowledge to keep any fraudulent invoices within the allotted budget, thereby allowing them to escape detection.”

FIA sued the Thompsons in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas in May. The case is pending before U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder III.

Both the civil suit and federal indictment allege that the Thompsons used the money they allegedly stole to build a house and swimming pool, fund James Thompson Trucking and James Thompson Racing, and finance a lavish lifestyle. A receiver has been appointed in the civil case to oversee the Thompson’s assets though FIA claims the Thompsons have repeatedly violated court orders.

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