United States Attorney Richard Roper announced that Randall Ellery Orff of Weatherford, Texas, pled guilty recently in federal court in Fort Worth, Texas, before the Honorable Charles Bleil, United States Magistrate Judge, to one count of mail fraud, one count of use of fire to commit felony and one count of destruction of a vehicle in interstate commerce.
Orff, 41, faces a maximum statutory sentence of not less than 15 years nor more than 35 years imprisonment, a $750,000 fine, and restitution. Sentencing is set for July 12, 2005, before the Honorable Terry Means, United States District Judge.
Orff was employed as a long distance independent truck driver for various interstate trucking companies. He operated 18-wheel semi-tractor and trailer rigs that he owned or leased to own. He reportedly insured his tractors with various insurance companies or would obtain coverage under the insurance policy of the company hiring him.
According to documents filed in court, Orff reportedly admitted that from 1992 through mid-July 2003, he set at least 13 tractor fires, and at least one house trailer fire, and the total amount of losses caused by these fires was more than $300,000.
Officials reported Orff usually started a fire in the tractor making it appear that the fire was caused by an electrical problem. Orff then reportedly claimed to investigators and insurance companies that the fires were the result of electrical or mechanical problems or some other accidental cause.
Orff reportedly burned trucks while employed with, among others, Mason Dixon Lines, Universal Am-Cam and Southwest Carriers, and either filed, or caused to be filed, claims with the insurance companies to collect damages resulting from the fires.
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