ELKINS, W. Va. — The former Barbour County sheriff was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for scheming to defraud an insurance company, said U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld.

John W. Hawkins, 48, of Philippi was sentenced Tuesday as a result of his conviction for felony mail fraud in February.

Chief U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey imposed a sentence above the advisory guideline, citing the betrayal of trust by Hawkins to the citizens of Barbour County.

Hawkins, who resigned from his position as sheriff when he entered his guilty plea four months ago, is scheduled to self-report to prison in July and must make full restitution.

Hawkins admitted to staging an automobile accident in April 2013 and then conspiring to fabricate a report for submission to Nationwide Insurance Company.

Hawkins agreed he used the U.S. mail to make a fraudulent claim worth $8,262.65, which was paid to him by Nationwide last year.

Agents and officers from the FBI and the West Virginia state police led the inquiry into Hawkins.

Ihlenfeld urged anyone with information regarding public corruption to call the West Virginia public corruption hotline at 855-WVA-FEDS (855-982-3337) or to email tips to wvafeds@usdoj.gov.

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  • Freddie

    What happened to the Deputy that helped???

    • Jason412

      That's a question I've been wondering myself.

  • wornoutwv

    Sheesh, you see a news story you think it positive until you read the comments and find out this was only a little more than a slap on the wrist and hardly what he deserves.

  • Judge Jimmy

    The judge did him a favor by sentencing him to 1 year and 1 day. Under federal sentencing guidelines he is eligible for "good time" if he serves over 1 year. By giving him a 366 day sentence he will allow him to end his sentence 55 days early. This will make him eligible for a half way house within 6 months. Had the judge sentenced him to exactly 1 year he would have done the entire year in prison.

  • DWL

    Say hi to the Mingo Co judge while you're there!

  • Jason412

    This guy was being investigated for using his power to sexually assault young girls and he's able to plead out to a separate charge and get a year, probably more realistically 9 months. If I were a crooked cop or politician I would certainly want to live in WV.

    • Laura

      This girl who accused Hawkins has been accusing men of raping her since the 8th grade, as someone who went to school with her, its completely evident that these are false accusations.

      • Jason412

        There were at least 3, maybe 5 girls who made those claims. The one you speak of, who made her name public, might be lying but it'd be a hell of a coincidence if the several others were, too.

        I'd also add, if the Sheriff had nothing to worry about in regards to other crimes committed he probably wouldn't of accepted a plea the instant they offered it.

    • Above the law in the WV


      • To Protect and Serve