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Man and woman indicted on charges of arson in Kentucky

Posted On Fri, January 21, 2011 A little more than three years after a Henderson, Kentucky, fire burned a residence to the ground, police are saying they know how it started.

According to the Evansville Courier & Press, two people were indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday on charges of arson and insurance fraud. If convicted of both charges, the accused would face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The indictment says that a man and a woman, Leslie Vashaun and Lori Hargas, traveled to the town Henderson and set fire to a residence Hargas owns. The indictment further states that they used paint thinner to expedite the rate at which the fire burned, but first emptied the home of its valuables.

Prosecutors say they believe the fire was set by Vashaun and Hargas on purpose to collect money on the home insurance policy that was in Hargas' name.

While most consumers oppose insurance fraud in all its forms, it's not universal. In a survey conducted the Insurance Research Council, 40 percent of respondents thought it was "acceptable" to increase the financial claim filed to cover the cost of the deductible.

According to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, insurance fraud is second only to tax evasion as the costliest white-collar crime in America.

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