Arrest Made in Connection with Fla. August Home Fire

January 5, 2004

Florida State Fire Marshal and insurance fraud investigators with the Department of Financial Services have arrested a local homeowner for allegedly burning her home to collect insurance proceeds.

Investigators said Gari Ann Lowery-Helton, 37, formerly of Cantonment, committed arson, setting fire to her home at her address, on Aug. 23, 2003 and subsequently filed an insurance claim, resulting in partial payment.

Lowery-Helton reportedly stood to receive more than $90,000. Lowery-Helton was arrested last week and booked into the Escambia County Jail, with bond set at $15,000. If convicted, she could face up to 5 years in prison and could be ordered to pay restitution and up $5,000 in fines.

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