Last updated: November 22. 2013 6:38PM - 676 Views
By Debbie Rolen

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Michael White conspired with couple to burn down Boone rental duplex for insurance payout

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Michael L. White was sentenced Thursday to six and a half years in prison after a federal jury found him guilty earlier this year of organizing a scheme to set fire to a Boone County rental duplex to collect more than $80,000 in insurance claims, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced.

On May 10, a federal jury found White guilty on all three counts against him: conspiracy to commit arson, arson and accessory after the fact. Evidence at trial determined that White, 58, of Logan, conspired with an acquaintance, Kimberly Dawn Kinder, and her now-deceased husband to set fire to a residential rental unit owned by White that was located in Van in Boone County.

Kimberly Dawn Kinder, 46, of Chapmanville, previously pleaded guilty to her role in the conspiracy in June 2012. White and the Kinders conspired together to set fire to the duplex in order to collect insurance claims.

Late in the evening on Oct. 15, 2009, the Kinders arrived at the Van duplex. After entering through one of the rental units, Mr. Kinder poured gasoline on a pile of clothes in the living area of one of the units. Mr. Kinder set fire to the pile of clothes and Mrs. Kinder drove the getaway vehicle.

The Van Volunteer Fire Department responded to the incident and extinguished the fire, but the property sustained severe damage. Afterward, White filed an insurance claim with Nationwide Insurance Company as a result of the fire. Nationwide, in turn, paid White $80,716.51. White subsequently paid the Kinders a total of approximately $2,000 in small increments as payment for their role in the conspiracy.

Kinder was sentenced in June to three years and one month in federal prison for her role in the scheme.

U.S. District Judge Thomas E. Johnston ordered White to pay full restitution to Nationwide in the amount of $80,716.51.

The investigation was conducted by the West Virginia State Police. Assistant U.S. attorneys Thomas Ryan and Larry Ellis handled the prosecution.

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