Minnesota man sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for insurance fraud after staging politically-motivated attack

(ABC 6 News) – A Brooklyn Center, Minn. man was sentenced to 30 months in prison, followed by one year of supervised release and ordered to pay $3,850 in restitution and an $18,381 fine for filing fraudulent insurance claims for a staged arson, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, on September 23, 2020, Denis Vladmirovich Molla, 30, falsely reported to law enforcement that someone had lit his camper on fire and that three unknown males were near his home when he heard an explosion. Molla also reported that his garage door was vandalized with spray painted graffiti stating, “Biden 2020,” “BLM,” and an Antifa symbol, and that his camper was targeted because it had a Trump 2020 flag displayed on it. In reality, Molla started his own property on fire and spray painted the graffiti on his own garage.

According to court documents, Molla submitted multiple insurance claims seeking coverage for the damage to his garage, camper, vehicles, and residence caused by the fire. When Molla’s insurance company denied some of those claims, Molla submitted a written complaint to the insurance company claiming that it was defrauding him and threatened to report the company to the Department of Commerce and to the Attorney General.

Molla also created and allowed others to create two GoFundMe accounts to benefit him and his family. In total, Molla submitted more than $300,000 in fraudulent insurance claims, and he received approximately $61,000 from his insurance company. Molla also received more than $17,000 from individual donors via GoFundMe.

Molla pleaded guilty on October 11, 2022, to one count of wire fraud. He was sentenced on Thursday in U.S. District Court by Senior Judge David S. Doty.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI and the Brooklyn Center Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly A. Svendsen and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela M. Munoz prosecuted the case.