Owner charged for setting fire to his Middletown restaurant

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MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — A part owner of Enzo’s Restaurant and Lounge in Middletown was arrested Monday evening at his home for igniting a fire at his business on Main Street, January 10, 2010.

A United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and a special agent in charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced today that a federal grand jury sitting in Hartford has returned an indictment charging John A Barlie, 51 years-old, of East Hartford with one count of conspiracy, one count of arson, and two counts of mail fraud. The indictment was returned on December 30, 2014.

The indictment alleges that Barlie and others conspired to set fire to Enzo’s, a restaurant that he jointly owned, in order to collect the insurance proceeds. Shortly after midnight on January 10, 2010, Barlie ignited the fire, left the restaurant and locked the doors, leaving the other owner inside. After the fire, Barlie sought payment from an insurance company for losses suffered as a result of the fire, and concealed his role in the fire from the insurance company and law enforcement.

The insurance company ultimately paid approximately $165,000 to Barlie to settle the insurance claims related to the fire.The other owner who was in the restaurant at the time of the fire was rescued by the Middletown Fire Department.

At his arraignment today, Barlie entered a plea of not guilty and was ordered detained pending a hearing scheduled for January 9, 2015.

If convicted of arson, Barlie faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of seven years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years. The mail fraud charges carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count, and the conspiracy charge carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.

This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Middletown Police Department and the Connecticut State Police. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anastasia E. King and Neeraj N. Patel.



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