United States Attorney Kenyen Brown announces that Jean Sanborn of Mobile, Alabama was sentenced to thirty (30) months imprisonment and three years supervised release in United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama in Mobile, Alabama on September 28, 2015. Sanborn had pled guilty to one count of mail fraud in regard to falsely claiming to be entitled to monies in an insurance claim she filed with State Farm Insurance for a fire at her former business, The Complete Skin Care Center, 3404 Old Shell Road in Mobile, and one count of falsification of documents in relation to a bankruptcy case. Sanborn was also ordered to pay restitution of $490,495.27.
Sanborn’s claim for monies in the insurance claim to State Farm was false and fraudulent because Sanborn knew that she started the Sunday, December 21, 2008 fire intentionally or with willful disregard of the fact that a fire would occur through her actions. Sanborn knew that she was therefore not entitled to payment on the claim.
Sanborn also pled guilty to a charge that her sworn Schedule of Assets and Statement of Financial Affairs filed in her July, 2014 bankruptcy case falsely answered questions about her investments and income, which concealed the investments and income from the bankruptcy court, the Trustee and creditors. The statutory maximum penalty for the alleged violations is twenty years imprisonment, plus a fine of not more than $250,000.
The case was investigated by agents of the Mobile Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Mobile Fire Department. United States Attorney Kenyen R. Brown stated: "This prosecution shows that the Department of Justice understands its duty to work to ensure that Mobile firefighters and residents are not endangered by those who start fires to commit insurance fraud and that bankruptcy relief is allowed only to those who are honest and candid with the Court and creditors, and not to those who would scam the system." ATF Special Agent In Charge Steven Gerido stated: "This indictment shows ATF, Mobile Fire Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office realize that starting a fire to commit insurance fraud is a crime of violence that places innocent people’s lives and property in harm’s way, and demonstrates their collaborative efforts to fight the crime of arson. ATF’s frontline strategy utilizes every available resource to make our communities a safer place to live." The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys George May, Michael Anderson and Charles Baer on behalf of the United States Attorney=s Office for the Southern District of Alabama.