For Immediate Release
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
, United States Attorney
John C. Milhiser
Contact: Sharon Paul
Springfield Shooting Center Owner Indicted on Charges of Arson, Insurance Fraud
Chicago Field Division
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The owner of a closed Springfield gun shooting center has been indicted on charges of arson and insurance fraud. John W. Jackson, Jr., 45, of Springfield, Ill., made his initial appearance in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Schanzle-Haskins. The indictment, returned by the grand jury on May 8, 2019, had remained sealed pending Jackson’s arrest and initial court appearance.
Jackson was arrested on May 14, and is scheduled to appear in court again tomorrow, May 16, for arraignment and detention hearings. He remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service at this time.
The indictment alleges that Jackson set fire to the Springfield Shooting Center, at 4885 Industrial Drive, on Sept. 6, 2017, and that a Springfield Fire Department Investigator was injured as a result of the fire. At that time, Jackson and his wife were owners and sole shareholders of Springfield Shooting Center, Inc. The indictment alleges that the couple, who was purchasing the building and inventory in installment payments, was behind in making payments at the time of the fire.
The indictment alleges that the fire was used to commit wire fraud when Jackson submitted an insurance claim for $1.62 million following the fire. According to the indictment, in July 2017, the Springfield Shooting Center secured a commercial insurance policy in the amount of $1.5 million for the building and $125,000 for the business personal property. Jackson allegedly gave false statements to the insurance company regarding his involvement in setting the fire and by claiming certain property was stolen when in fact it had previously been sold.
If convicted, the statutory maximum penalty for arson causing injury is 40 years in prison; the maximum penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison, and the penalty for using fire to commit wire fraud is 10 years in prison to be served consecutive to any other penalty imposed. Each of the three counts includes a potential fine of up to $250,000.
The case is being prosecuted by First Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas J. Quivey and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mathew Z. Weir. The charges are the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Springfield Police Department; and the Springfield Fire Department.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.