Va. Woman Finds Playing with Fire Gets One Burned; Charged in Setting Store Blaze

June 14, 2005

United States Attorney John Brownlee announced recently that Barbara Corby Martin, 45, of Scottsville, Virginia, was indicted by a federal Grand Jury sitting in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Martin was charged in a five count indictment with arson, use of fire to commit mail fraud, mail fraud, and making false statements to federal agents. These charges arose out of an investigation begun after the Swiss Way Market in Scottsville, Virginia was destroyed by fire on Oct. 28, 2003.

According to the Grand Jury, the initial investigation by Martin’s insurance company ruled the fire was accidental and awarded Martin a $25,000 business interruption insurance payment. A concurrent investigation by ATF and the Albemarle County Fire Marshal’s Office ruled that the fire was intentionally started.

Investigators have reportedly discovered information that indicates Martin set fire to the building in an effort to collect the insurance money. Martin reportedly made several statements that she hated the store and would “torch it” if she could.

In November of 2003, Martin received a $25,000 insurance payment and mailed a $270,000 proof of loss form to Hanover Insurance Company in April 2005.

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