Woman Accused of Insurance Fraud, Setting Fire to Nebraska Bar She Was Buying

April 4, 2019

A woman has been accused of setting fire to a bar she was buying in the central Nebraska town of Arnold.

Custer County Court records say 54-year-old Jane Chestnutt is charged with three felonies: arson, criminal mischief and burning to defraud an insurer.

Her attorney, P. Stephen Potter, said she plans to plead not guilty and will challenge the charges at a preliminary hearing.

The March 27 blaze last year heavily damaged Jim’s Bar. The bar owner says he was selling it to Chestnutt and her husband and that she had said she was having trouble making the payments.

Court records say she told an investigator that she accidentally knocked over and broke a whiskey bottle and then set a flame to the spilled whiskey to see whether it would burn. She said it ignited and that she fled the bar when she was unable to put out the fire.

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Latest Comments

  • April 8, 2019 at 11:58 am
    Agent says:
    Maybe she had a Builders Risk set up to rebuild. Hey, she could make it just like new.
  • April 7, 2019 at 1:24 pm
    mark says:
    Her excuse sounds stupid enough to get her acquitted. Not knowing the finer details, sounds like it would be tough to prove criminal intent. At the very least, the insurance ... read more
  • April 4, 2019 at 4:10 pm
    rob says:
    Now the guy's got Paulie as a partner. Any problems, he goes to Paulie. Trouble with a bill, he can go to Paulie. Trouble with the cops, deliveries, Tommy, he can call Paulie.... read more

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