Texas Man Sentenced to 78 Years in Prison for Arson, Insurance Fraud

June 16, 2020

A 52-year-old Groves, Texas, man has been sentenced to 78 years in federal prison for violations related to an arson and insurance fraud scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas.

U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox said Patrick Wayne Bronnon was found guilty on Oct. 21, 2019, of 40 charges including conspiracy to commit mail fraud and use of a fire in commission of a felony.

Bronnon and 11 other individuals were indicted and charged in May 2018 with federal violations related to the $1.7 million insurance fraud scheme.

On June 16, Bronnon was sentenced to 940 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone.

Breakdown:

  • 16 counts of mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud — 100 months on each count to run concurrently.
  • First count of Use of a Fire in commission of mail fraud (Arson) — 120 months consecutive to the 100 months above.
  • Second count of Use of a Fire in commission of mail fraud — 240 months consecutive to the 220 months above
  • Third count of Use of a Fire in commission of mail fraud — 240 more months consecutive to the 460 months above

According to information presented in court, beginning in 2011, Bronnon, and others, began executing a scheme to defraud various insurance companies through fraudulent claims on homes and vehicles.

The scheme involved identifying a low value property and purchasing it through a co-defendant straw purchaser. Within a few weeks of a down payment being made, Bronnon or an associate would intentionally damage the home, typically by fire or water, in order to collect insurance proceeds. In total, nine fraudulent fire claims, three fraudulent water damage claims, and two fraudulent theft claims were filed with various insurance companies on nine different addresses, totaling approximately $1.7 million in fraudulent payments.

The properties were located in Port Arthur, Port Neches, Beaumont, and Sugarland, Texas.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, National Insurance Crime Bureau and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph R. Batte.

Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office

Related:

Topics USA Texas Fraud Arson

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