Texas Man Gets Burned; 15-Year Sentence for Series of Fires

July 20, 2005

Special Agent in Charge Ronnie Carter of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced that Randall Ellery Orff of Weatherford, Texas, was sentenced to serve 15 years in Federal prison by the Honorable Terry Means, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas.

On March 23, 2005 Orff pled guilty to one count of mail fraud, one count of use of fire to commit a felony and one count of destruction of a vehicle in interstate commerce.

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 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 the losses caused by these fires was more than $300,000.

Usually Orff started a fire in the tractor, reportedly making it appear the fire was caused by an electrical problem. Orff then 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.

“It’s this type of criminal activity that has such a negative impact on everybody’s insurance rates,” stated Carter. “This long term cooperative investigation and ultimate sentence was certainly worth the effort.”

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