Iowa Couple Sentenced to Prison for Burning Foreclosed Home

March 3, 2008

The Associated Press recently reported that a LeClaire couple will spend up to 10 years in prison for burning down the house they lost in foreclosure and filing a fraudulent insurance claim.

Lawrence and Patricia Atwood received their sentences this week and were ordered immediately into custody.

The Atwoods lived in a house that was foreclosed upon in December 2005. After failing to finance the home, they were told on Feb. 22, 2006, that they would more than likely be evicted. The home was destroyed in a blaze March 5, 2006.

The AP story said that the Atwoods filed an insurance claim for about $17,000 in household items. The insurance policy on the home ran out at midnight March 5.

A former investigator from the state fire marshal’s office testified at trial that an accelerant was used to set the fires. Investigators also found personal items stored in the Atwoods’ shed and a vehicle, including an overnight bag, two pairs of slippers, medication, family photos, a coin collection and a jewelry chest.

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