The last thing people tend to expect when they are down on their luck is a criminal charge. As if things couldn't seem to get any worse for a person losing a home in a fire, one more thing is added to their already full plate. Two men in South Carolina who lost their home in a house fire last year have recently been charged with arson and insurance fraud. Both of these are felony charges, which may result in prison time and hefty fines if any validity is found to the allegations.
The fire occurred in mid-Jan. 2013 in Hartsville. After the loss of their home, the men filed a claim with their insurance to receive benefits related to a fire or explosion. Both the 29-year-old and 80-year-old men were reportedly arrested after investigators received information from an informant claiming the men admitted to certain components of the crime.
The two men are currently being held at a local detention center. Charges against them include third degree arson, insurance fraud and criminal conspiracy. If convicted, punishment could be up to 15 years in prison and fines totaling up to $10,000.
South Carolina residents who stand accused of felony charges don't have to face them alone and do maintain the right to defend themselves in a court of law. The allegations these men face, along with the punishment for such felony charges, are serious and could severely damage their lives. A well-planned criminal defense could help secure their freedom, or help lessen any negative repercussions if convicted.
Source: wmbfnews.com, "2 men charged with arson, false insurance claim for 2013 fire", , March 28, 2014