Fifty-two year old Randall Licari was convicted in Bridgeport Superior Court in November of 2006 of 1st degree arson, first-degree larceny, insurance fraud, and conspiracy. The former supervisor for the New York Department of Environmental Protection was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
According to the Connecticut Post, the Connecticut Appeals Court recently upheld his conviction despite his claims that the prosecution fabricated evidence and controlled the lineup of testimony from people called by the defense at trial.
Licari's Cape Cod style home burned to the ground in December of 2003. The family received an outpouring of support from the Red Cross and the community. They also received a sizable check from the insurance company.
Licari used this $350,000 check and gifts to build a bigger and better home following the fire. Later, the investigation into the fire was opened back up after the adult daughter of Licari stated her father started the fire himself in order to collect on the insurance policy.
Investigators found what they had formerly believed to be wrapped Christmas gifts to actually contain DuraFlame logs wrapped in Christmas paper and placed below the wires for the Christmas tree lights. Licari claimed those were a gift from his wife, despite not owning a fireplace.
The motive for the arson: financial problems. Often this is why crimes of arson take place. People get caught in rough financial times and see insurance money as a potential savior.
Arson, however, is a serious crime and not the best way to get out of debt. If caught and convicted of 1st degree arson, you could be sentenced to several years in prison and carry around a serious rap sheet for the rest of your life.
If you are facing criminal charges and wonder if you will get a fair shake in court, let me know. Call me for a free consultation on your case today.