N.Y. Man Sentenced in Arson Fraud Case

September 9, 2003

New York’s Superintendent of Insurance Gregory Serio, Genesee County District Attorney Lawrence Friedman and Genesee County Sheriff Gary Maha, issued a joint bulletin stating that Michael Puzan, of Warsaw, New York, was sentenced in Genesee County Court to a term of 3-9 years in prison for arson.

“Puzan was arrested on November 7, 2002 and charged with Arson in the second degree, Insurance Fraud in the third degree and Falsifying Business Records for his involvement in setting fire to a duplex house,” said the bulletin. “The fire was set by Puzan and his girlfriend, Victoria Walczak, by pouring gasoline throughout their portion of the duplex home which was made more serious because five occupants were asleep in the other half of the duplex. The other occupants did escape unharmed. Puzan pled guilty to Arson in the third degree, in Genesee County Court and has been free on bail until sentencing today.”

He was remanded to the custody of the Genesee County Sheriff for transfer to New York State Correctional Services, and was “ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $33,158.20 to United Frontier and Country Way Insurance Companies, who insured the building and personal contents of other occupants in the building at the time of the fire.”

The announcement also noted that “Ms. Walcak is currently serving a term of 2-6 years in NYS Prison following her arrest and conviction in Genesee County Court earlier this year. She too, has been ordered to pay restitution to several insurance carriers in connection with this loss and other unrelated insurance fraud cases uncovered during the investigation.”

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