Florida Arson Ring Busted

May 25, 2018

Operation Rent-To-Burn: $187,000 Arson-for-Profit Crime Ring Taken Down

Three Florida residents were arrested following a joint investigation conducted by the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Economic Crimes Bureau Arson Squad and CFO Jimmy Patronis’ Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations.

Yamina Grafal, Walther Avila Lainez and Gennie Avila Lainez were identified as members of a crime ring that allegedly played various roles when conducting an arson-for-profit scheme, fraudulently collecting at least $187,000 in insurance payouts by setting seven residential structures on fire between 2009-2016 in Miami-Dade, Lee and Collier County.

The investigation was initiated after authorities received information from Citizens Insurance regarding falsified receipts in support of an insurance claim for a fire loss. This investigation revealed that multiple individuals had conspired to rent residential properties, and after obtaining renter’s insurance, intentionally set the homes on fire for economic gain. The fires were set in such a manner that responding fire departments did not suspect criminal activity.

The investigation revealed the following locations were intentionally set on fire:

October 11, 2009 – Residential fire at 2161 41 Street SW, Naples, FL
February 16, 2010 – Residential fire at 3116 NE 7th Place, Cape Coral, FL
June 28, 2012 – Residential fire at 3415 SW 13th Terrace, Miami, FL
October 31, 2014 – Residential fire at 901 NW 50th Street, Miami, FL
December 28, 2014 – Residential fire at 674 Pine Cone Lane, Naples, FL
April 4, 2015 – Residential fire at 5621 NW 10th Avenue, Miami, FL
December 13, 2016 – Planned residential fire at 1850 NW 112th Terrace, Miami, FL

The following individuals have been arrested:

Gennie Avila Lainez – arrested 05-17-2018: Racketeering/Rico, Racketeer/Conspire To, Insurance Claims/False, Arson 1st Degree

Walther Avila Lainez – arrested 05-17-2018: Racketeering/Rico, Racketeer/Conspire To, (3) Insurance Claims/False, Arson 1st Degree, Grand Theft 1st Degree, Grand Theft 2nd Degree.

Yamina Grafal – arrested 05-18-2018: Racketeering/Rico, Racketeer/ Conspire To, (2) Insurance Claims/False/Fraudulent

Vicente Olana – arrested 07-08-2016: Grand Theft 1st Degree, (2) Insurance Claims/False, Arson 1st Degree, Grand Theft 2nd Degree

Kenia Martinez-Rosales – arrested 12-15-2016: Insurance Claims/False/Fraudulent

Luis Rosales – arrested 09-30-2015: Grand Theft

Walther Avila Lainez was taken into custody May 17, 2018 in Tennessee by ATF agents and the Hamilton County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office. He is in custody pending extradition to Florida.

Source: Florida Chief Financial Officer

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