Indictment Alleges Wis. Arson Scheme to Collect Insurance Money

May 21, 2007

A grocery store owner, her son and his girlfriend face federal charges in the fire that gutted the business last year, allegedly as part of a scheme to collect just over $794,000 in insurance money.

Mayneng Xiong, 51, owner of TMX May’s Super Market in Green Bay, was indicted by a federal grand jury along with her son, Pao Xiong, 22, and Xee Vue, 20. All three Green Bay residents were arrested Thursday, U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic announced.

The Xiongs are charged with arson and mail fraud and also with conspiracy to commit arson and mail fraud. Pao Xiong also faces a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm for a handgun found in his home.

Vue is charged in the conspiracy and with being an accessory after the fact for allegedly lying when she provided both the other two with an alibi for the night of the store burned in January 2006.

Prosecutors allege that Pao Xiong went to the store and used alcohol and gasoline to fuel the blaze that destroyed the building.

According to a search warrant affidavit, Mayneng Xiong’s insurance coverage “exceeded the fair market value of the property.”

She filed insurance claims seeking $397,000 for the building, $350,000 for loss of business inventory, $22,833 for business interruption and $25,000 for cleanup and debris removal, authorities said. The claims remain under investigation by her insurance company.

The indictment said that at the time of the fire, the store was under investigation by state officials for welfare fraud linked with the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program.

Mayneng Xiong had allegedly failed to provide records to support $60,000 in WIC reimbursements between June 2005 and November 2005.

If convicted, Mayneng Xiong faces up to 45 years in prison, Pao Xiong up to 55 years and Vue up to 10 years.

They made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court last week.

Pao Xiong was ordered detained, while Mayneng Xiong and Vue were released on their own recognizance.

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