Wisconsin Bar Owner Guilty of Burning Business for Insurance Money

March 4, 2009

A Hayward, Wisconsin tavern owner has been found guilty of burning his business to collect more than $250,000 in insurance money.

U.S Attorney Erik Peterson’s office says a federal jury found 39-year-old Philip Lathrop guilty of arson and mail fraud.

Prosecutors say Lathrop owned Player’s Sports Bar & Grill. It burned down on Aug. 16, 2003, a day before Lathrop’s insurance on the place expired and his premiums were set to increase. He collected $253,000 for his losses.

Investigators say Lathrop hired Dave Maki to burn the bar down for $5,000 and some cocaine. Maki’s case is still pending in Washburn County Circuit Court.

Lathrop is set to be sentenced May 8.

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