Prosecutors said a supporter of then-President Donald Trump staged a 2020 arson at his home in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, which he blamed on “BLM/Antifa” — and afterward defrauded his insurance company and collected thousands in donations.
What are the details?
Denis Vladmirovich Molla, 29, was charged with two counts of wire fraud last Tuesday in U.S. District Court, the Star Tribune reported, citing court documents.
The paper — citing the charges — said Molla falsely reported someone lit his camper on fire because it was flying a Trump 2020 flag and that three people were near his home when he heard an explosion and that his garage door was vandalized with “Biden 2020,” “BLM,” and an Antifa symbol.
The Star Tribune added that first responders put out the fire which burned down the detached garage, destroyed three vehicles, and caused minor damage to the home shortly before 4 a.m. Sept. 23, 2020. Crews also helped the family save three dogs and four puppies from the home, the paper said, citing prior police statements.
The paper said Molla and his wife Deana previously told the Star Tribune they were asleep in the house — along with their 2-year-old son and 5-month old daughter — when the fire erupted.
“In reality, as Molla well knew, Molla started his own property on fire, Molla spray-painted the graffiti on his own property, and there were no unknown males near his homes,” charging documents said, according to the Star Tribune.
Molla later claimed more than $300,000 in damages and received about $61,000 from his insurance company, prosecutors told the paper, adding that Molla deposited more than $17,000 from his “Patriots for the Mollas” GoFundMe account into his personal bank account.
When his insurance company denied some of his claims, Molla submitted complaints that the company was defrauding him, the Star Tribune reported, adding that he threatened to report it to the Department of Commerce and the attorney general.
Molla was released from custody without bail on a promise to appear in court, the paper said, citing court documents. The Star Tribune said a call to Molla’s lawyer was not returned by deadline.
Deana Molla said at the time that her husband was working in downtown Minneapolis on a construction site, and his pickup with the Trump flag was parked nearby, when someone “drove by slowly and took pictures” and feces was left at his vehicle.
“[The suspects] saw that we have a jungle gym and toys in the backyard,” she added. “To put our babies in harm’s way because you don’t agree with our politics; just don’t put our kids in danger. My son smells like smoke.”
The family also wrote in Facebook post that had been deleted at the time of the arson that their house “was supposedly targeted by BLM/Antifa.”
Fire chief, neighbor of man who started fire to his Brooklyn Center home speak out