Ali Darwich, a 31-year-old man who lives in Beverly Hills, was sentenced on Wednesday May 8 to 137 years in prison following his December conviction for his role in an arson ring that resulted in insurance companies being defrauded of more than $5 million. Darwich was initially arrested in 2008 as he was seen fleeing from a burning building in Detroit.
According to a news article at Mlive.com, Darwich was sentenced in federal court and was among a total of nine individuals who allegedly participated in the insurance fraud ring. All of the eight other suspects have been sentenced after pleading guilty.
Federal officials said that in total, seven insurance companies were defrauded. The individuals involved in the arson ring allegedly purchased insurance on a number of vehicles, homes, and businesses. They would then cause floods, set the properties on fire, or otherwise vandalize them so that they could collect insurance money for replacement, repairs, and other costs including lost profits.
Darwich allegedly set a fire at Warrendale Hardware in Detroit that resulted in damages of more than $500,000. In 2008, he was observed going into a building on Cheyenne Street in Detroit, then fleeing with what appeared to be a bottle of liquid as the building burned. News reports also state that Darwich attempted to conceal the arson/insurance fraud operation by shifting ownership of the properties around to friends and family members.
Several agencies participated in the investigation of the arson ring including Dearborn police, Detroit fire departments, the IRS and the FBI.
Michigan arson attorneys know that in a situation such as this one, the consequences are extremely serious. Not only may those involved be charged with arson, but with insurance fraud as well. As is evident in this case, individuals who are convicted may spend the rest of their lives behind bars.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a serious or violent crime or is under investigation, consult with an aggressive and skilled Michigan criminal defense lawyer immediately. You must take action to protect your legal rights and freedom.