Sloppy effort douses arson scam

An arson conspiracy went up in smoke after a Kansas City man set his pants on fire and shed them in the street.

John S. Wayne, 31, pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Kansas City to conspiracy to commit arson, arson, use of fire to commit a federal crime, mail fraud and wire fraud.

From the media release by federal prosecutors:

He is among six co-conspirators who have pleaded guilty in a $1.2 million insurance fraud.

On April 23, 2011, a witness saw Wayne running from a house arson fire, his pants in flames.

He took off his sweatpants and boots and left them on the road. Lab tests found gasoline on them and police eventually matched DNA on them to Wayne.

The burned man also had a kind of criminal workman’s comp gripe that he told police about.

His burning partner and boss, Joshua Stamps, 28, refused to take him to a hospital and instead took him home and gave him burn cream.

That did not work and Wayne went to a hospital the same day of the arson.

The fraud ran from 2007 to 2013, when Stamps and others bought cheap houses, over-insured them and burned them.

Under terms of the plea agreement, Wayne must pay $434,938 and faces a prison sentence of from five to 25 years.


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