Trial set for accused insurance agent

A former insurance agent indicted on federal fraud charges will go to trial Sept. 30 in Des Moines.

William Arthur Thiede, 65, is charged with five counts of mail fraud after allegedly bilking numerous customers.

Thiede, a former chairman of the Marshalltown Chamber of Commerce board, allegedly cashed more than $167,000 in premium checks from January 2002 to September 2010 when he left American Family Insurance. He was indicted July 23 and arrested Aug. 1.

Shawna Jacobs, a former customer of Thiede’s, told the T-R last month she was “extremely shocked” when she learned money she thought she’d been paying on business and personal policies were allegedly going into Thiede’s pocket.

“They weren’t legitimate,” Jacobs said of the policies.

Two of Thiede’s other customers, who asked not to be identified, said they would receive late payment notices for premiums they had paid. When they confronted Thiede he assured them he would take care of it.

“That happened two years in a row,” one customer said of what she later discovered was a nonexistent home owner’s policy. She said she received a refund for the money she’d spent.