DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Utah

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Trina A. Higgins
, United States Attorney

Utah Woman Sentenced to 12 Months Imprisonment for Wire Fraud and Ordered To Pay Over $88,000 in Restitution

Salt Lake City, Utah – A Utah woman was sentenced today to one year imprisonment for devising a scheme to defraud Kemper Personal Insurance, for personal payment following a massive house fire in 2021.

According to court documents, April Kristina Tinnes, 49, of Tooele, Utah, pleaded guilty to wire fraud for devising a scheme to defraud Kemper Personal Insurance between January 2021 and May 2021.Tinnes made false and fraudulent representations regarding a fire she deliberately set on January 16, 2021, to her residence in Tooele. Tinnes was not living at the residence but renting a home nearby. The purpose of the scheme was to obtain payment of insurance proceeds on a policy written by Kemper Personal Insurance for the residence, which had been renewed in late 2020. In furtherance of the scheme, Tinnes caused a sworn video-recorded deposition examination taken by Kemper counsel documenting Tinnes’ false statements in support of her claim, to be transmitted via wire communications in interstate commerce to Kemper investigators. In addition to her 12 months’ imprisonment, Tinnes was ordered to serve three years of supervised release after her prison sentence and ordered to pay over $88,000 in restitution, which she paid in full.

“This case sends a firm and important message that those who commit arson for financial gain will be prosecuted and brought to justice,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mark Hirata, for the District of Utah.

“ATF Forensic Auditors and Certified Fire Investigators work in tandem to provide a financial analysis as well as an origin and cause determination in arson-for-profit investigations, said ATF Special Agent in Charge Brent Beavers. “Arson-for-profit schemes, such as this, not only have financial and economic repercussions but also present a serious threat to public safety.”

U.S. Attorney, Trina A. Higgins, of the District of Utah made the announcement.

The case was investigated jointly by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Tooele City Police Department and Tooele City Fire Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mark Y. Hirata of the District of Utah prosecuted the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Denver Field Division