Saturday, December 1, 2012

Prosecutor: Financially Strapped Homeowner Attempts Foreclosure Dodge By Torching Home In Effort To Score $400K In Insurance Cash

In West Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, The Mercury reports:

  • A West Pottsgrove man, who authorities claim fell behind on mortgage payments, must answer to charges in Montgomery County Court that he allegedly intentionally set fire to his Elm Street home with the hope of collecting $400,000 in insurance proceeds.

    Robert Francis Granger, 36, who owned the fire-ravaged home at 426 Elm St., waived his preliminary hearing [...] on charges of arson endangering persons and property, failure to control or report dangerous fire, conspiracy to commit arson and insurance fraud in connection with the July 2011 blaze that gutted the home. Granger, [...] is being held in the county jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail.

    “He set the house on fire. He was way behind on his bills. He was way behind on his mortgage. He figured the house was worth more burnt than it was standing. He didn’t want the bank to foreclose,” alleged Assistant District Attorney John N. Gradel. “So he torched the place.”

    Granger’s fiancée, Heather J. Walters, who is charged as a conspirator in the crime, also waived her preliminary hearing. Walters, [...] was released on own recognizance bail to await further court action. Another alleged conspirator, Randy L. Eagle, 38, [...] previously waived his preliminary hearing on conspiracy to commit arson and related offenses in connection with the incident.

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