Car Dealer Sentenced for Arranging Arson at N.Y. DMV

November 9, 2011

A former used car dealer has been sentenced to five years in prison for arranging an arson fire at a New York motor vehicles office.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Buffalo says 59-year-old Robert Vernon had a dispute with a Department of Motor Vehicles facilities inspector over his western New York businesses, Econo Motors and Variety Motors. So, investigators say, he paid someone $1,000 to set fire to the Buffalo DMV building where he believed the inspector kept his files.

The fire caused $250,000 in damages.

As part of his sentencing in federal court Monday, Vernon also was ordered to pay $254,000 in restitution.

Vernon, a native of New South Wales, Australia, pleaded guilty in July to commanding, inducing and procuring others to damage and destroy a building by fire.

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