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Former Logan councilman, others indicted on arson, fraud charges

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A former Logan city councilman and three other men were indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with setting fire to a vacant building to collect the insurance money.

The indictments, unsealed Tuesday, came down against James Gregory Glick, a former councilman who owns the 317 Steakhouse in Logan; Guy R. Miller, a former candidate for Logan mayor; Shawn C. Simon, 41, and William Jamey Thompson. All are charged with mail and wire fraud and arson, among other related charges.

The indictment states the men purchased a vacant building in 2011 across from the steakhouse, inflated the building's insurance policy and burned it down.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. It means only that a grand jury has found enough evidence to warrant a criminal trial.

The property at 111 Stratton St. was purchased for $45,000, according to federal prosecutors. Thompson, 44, operated Baisden & Associates insurance agency and was paid $75,000 to obtain an inflated insurance policy for the property, prosecutors allege.

Miller, 39, operated a Kirby vacuum business and the exotic dance club L.A.'s Finest. Simon, Miller's first cousin, occasionally worked for Miller, the indictment states.

Glick, 44, and a second person not identified in the indictment agreed to pay Thompson $75,000 to obtain a fraudulently inflated insurance policy, according to the indictment.

The person not named in the indictment purchased the property in December 2011 for $45,000 and then sold it to Glick for $50,000.

In January 2012, Thompson submitted an insurance application misrepresenting the replacement cost of the building at 111 Stratton St. for $1 million, according to the indictment.

Thompson, of Chapmanville, obtained the insurance policy from General Star Indemnity Company.

On Feb. 1, 2012, Miller and Simon and another person not named in the indictment spread gasoline throughout the main floor and set fire to the building, according to federal prosecutors.

Last year, Glick received a check for more than $1 million in insurance money, the indictment states, which he split with the others named in the indictment.

Charges against the men include conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, arson conspiracy, use of fire to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, arson, obstruction of justice, unlawful monetary transactions and "structuring."

Structuring involves the breaking down of cash transactions in amounts of $10,000 or less for the purpose of avoiding a financial institution's reporting requirements to the Internal Revenue Service, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin's office. 

Glick also owns The Lewis Furniture Company of Logan, according to the Secretary of State's website.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Dwane Tinsley ordered Glick remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal's Service until his arraignment at 10 a.m. Friday.

Jim Cagle, Glick's attorney, could not be reached for comment.

Miller, who turned himself in to police Tuesday, according to a spokesman with the U.S. Attorney's Office, will have an initial court appearance at 10 a.m. today<co Wednesday>.

Thompson is expected to turn himself in to authorities Wednesday in Charleston, S.C., the spokesman said. There is no word yet on Simon's whereabouts, the spokesman said.

A separate indictment was unsealed Tuesday charging Phillip Wayne Workman with tampering with a witness, victim or informant. According to the charges, Workman provided false information to law enforcement in Logan earlier this year in an attempt to influence a matter under investigation by the grand jury.

His arraignment is also scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday. 

Workman's charges stem from the alleged arson investigation, the U.S. Attorney's spokesman said. Reach Kate White at kate.white@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.


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