Ex-Castroville police chief accused of having SUV torched before reporting it stolen charged with wire fraud
Chris Filline charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud
CASTROVILLE, Texas – The former police chief of Castroville was indicted by a federal grand jury after authorities said he conspired with two other people to have his luxury SUV destroyed before reporting it stolen.
Chris Filline was taken into custody Tuesday, days after being charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, federal records show.
Filline conspired with two people, prosecutors allege. Although they are not named in the former police chief’s indictments, federal court records show Ambrose Rymers, a Castroville animal control officer, was separately indicted in the scheme and took a plea deal on Monday.
It’s unclear if the second unnamed person was charged in connection with the case.
Filline developed a scheme to defraud his insurance company by coordinating the theft and destruction of his 2007 Lincoln Navigator in July 2016, according to the court documents.
Rymers, who is referred to as “Person 1” in the grand jury indictment, told Filline he knew someone who could burn the vehicle.
Rymers then met with the unnamed person, whose name is redacted in the indictment. That person agreed to help the duo, according to the court documents.
Filline left the keys inside his SUV on July 15, 2016, which he parked in a lot next to the Castroville police station, according to the indictment.
Rymers met up with the unnamed person and parked a block away from the department.
The person got into the SUV and drove it to a dead end at Masterson Road in Bexar County, while Rymers followed behind.
The car was torched and the two people drove away in Rymers’ vehicle, according to the indictment.
On July 18, 2016, Filline reported his vehicle stolen to the Lytle Police Department and filed a claim with his insurance company three days later.
“The filing resulted in the processing and payment of a claim for $14,388.25,” according to the indictment.
The Castroville City Council unanimously voted to fire Felline in December 2018 after the accusations were reported by KSAT.
Later that month, KSAT obtained employment memos that revealed Filline and Castroville Animal Control Officer Ambrose Rymers were being investigated by the Bexar County Fire Marshal’s Office.
An FBI spokesperson said the charges were a result of a joint investigation by the federal agency and the fire marshal’s office.
It is not clear if Rymers still works for the city of Castroville.
If convicted, Filline faces up to 20 years in prison.
Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.