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Nelson County woman to serve six years for arson and insurance fraud

Nelson County resident, Linda Blackwell, was sentenced on Tuesday, May 27, to six years and three months in prison after she was found guilty earlier this year of arson and insurance fraud.

Blackwell had been under investigation for arson and insurance fraud by the Virginia State
Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation‘s Appomattox Field Office for the past five years.
She was charged with Arson and Obtaining Money by False Pretense for fires in Aug.
2009, Feb. 2012 and May 2013. In the Aug. 2009 fire, Blackwell was also charged with
first degree murder, of which she was acquitted.

Blackwell was found guilty in March 2014 of two Obtaining Money by False Pretense
charges, one Attempt to Obtain Money by False Pretense and two Arson charges. Judge J.
Michael Gamble, Nelson County Circuit Court, sentenced her to five years on each of the
arson charges and five months on the Obtaining Money by False Pretense charges to run
concurrently for a total sentence of six years and three months. When Blackwell is
released in six years, she will have a five-year suspended sentence conditioned on her
being on probation for 20 years.

In addition to being fined $3,000, Blackwell will also have to make restitution of more
than $350,000 to Liberty Mutual Insurance Company.

The case was investigated by Virginia State Police special agents Gary Hack, Brian
Childress and Fred Solomon. Blackwell was prosecuted by Nelson County’s
Commonwealth’s Attorney Anthony D. Martin.

The VSP is committed to “Stamp Out” insurance fraud occurring in the Commonwealth. If
you have knowledge of a fraudulent insurance scheme or suspect you may have been the
victim of insurance fraud, report the activity to the Virginia State Police Insurance Fraud
Program on the insurance fraud hotline at 1-877-62FRAUD (1-877-623-7283) or visit
www.StampOutFraud.com. Persons who submit tips will
remain anonymous and may also be eligible to receive a reward of up to $25,000.