Couple who lost home in fire accused of fraud - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Couple who lost home in fire accused of fraud

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — A San Diego County couple has been arraigned on a 10-count federal indictment for allegedly orchestrating an elaborate fraud scheme after losing their home in a 2007 wildfire.

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said Thursday that 40-year-old Douglas Tumlinson and his 43-year-old wife Deborah face charges including conspiracy and money laundering.

Duffy says the scheme began after the Tumlinsons lost their Ramona home in the Witch Creek Fire and joined a class-action lawsuit against San DiegoGas & Electric to recoup their losses.

While the Tumlinsons did not receive a settlement, the indictment says the couple claimed that they did to get a loan, promising to use the settlement funds as collateral.

According to prosecutors, the Tumlinsons used that money to launder more than $500,000 to purchase a new house.

A phone listing for Deborah Tumlinson was disconnected on Friday.

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