Six people have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Missouri for their roles in an arson and insurance fraud conspiracy, Tammy Dickinson, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced.
One of the conspirators has also been indicted separately, along with his wife, in a conspiracy to illegally possess firearms.
Joshua Stamps, 26, of Independence, Mo.; his mother, Randy Stamps, 55; John Stanley Wayne, 30; Michael Smith, 26; and Luis Esquivel, 48; all of Kansas City, Mo., and Roy Richard, 32, of Wichita, Kan., were charged in a 19-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury on Sept. 25, 2013.
The federal indictment alleges Joshua Stamps led an arson and insurance fraud conspiracy between 2007 and 2013 in which he bought houses, insured them for more than they were worth, had them burned and made insurance claims on the burned houses.
Stamps and his co-conspirators allegedly bought, insured and burned five houses in Kansas City, Mo. The total actual loss to insurance companies in the scheme was $434,938, while the total intended loss was almost $1.2 million.
According to the indictment, Stamps bought houses costing from $6,500 to $15,000, using Randy Stamps and Smith as straw owners for three of the houses. Other co-conspirators helped commit the arsons and/or acted as tenants so the properties could be classified as rentals.
Stamps and his co-conspirators then insured the houses for much more than the purchase price, the indictment says, in amounts from $88,000 to $307,000. Stamps and his co-conspirators allegedly made false statements on the insurance applications, claiming that the houses were rented and/or occupied, that there were valuable contents in the houses, and that the houses had been renovated.
Stamps, Wayne, and other co-conspirators allegedly set fire to the houses. The listed owner of the house that burned would then claim a total loss with the applicable insurance company and would falsely claim they had no knowledge of, or involvement in, the fire.
In addition to the conspiracy, Joshua Stamps is charged with five counts of using fire to commit a federal crime, four counts of arson, four counts of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering.
John Wayne is also charged with Joshua Stamps in two counts of using fire to commit a federal crime and two counts of arson. According to the indictment, Wayne’s pants were on fire as he ran from the arson at 4901 Agnes, so he took them off and left them in the street. Michael Smith is also charged with Joshua Stamps in one count of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud.
Richard is also charged with wire fraud. Randy Stamps is also charged with mail fraud. Luis Esquivel is also charged with wire fraud.
USA v. Stamps, Loyd
Joshua Stamps and his wife, Candice Loyd, 28, were charged in a separate and unrelated three-count indictment that was also returned under seal by a federal grand jury on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013.
The federal indictment alleges that Stamps and Loyd, who were not married at the time, participated in a conspiracy to illegally possess two firearms from June 2, 2008, to April 9, 2013. The purpose of the conspiracy was for Loyd to obtain firearms for Stamps, who could not legally own firearms due to his felony conviction.
Source: U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri