On January 28, 2020, the Ellenville Fire Department requested the Ulster County Fire Investigation Unit to respond in Wawarsing, New York, to investigate the origin and cause of a house fire. The fire investigation unit identified incendiary fire indicators and suspicious circumstances which resulted in a criminal investigation by law enforcement.
At the time of the fire, the house had been condemned by the town of Wawarsing and a stop work order was placed on the residence for suspected illegal renovations. Following the fire, the defendant, Yevganiy Ilyayev, submitted a fraudulent claim to Travelers Insurance seeking $478,000 as restitution for the loss of the house.
“This defendant falsified claim records hoping to obtain a fraudulent insurance payout,” said Ulster County Director of Emergency Services Everett Erichsen in a New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) press release. “Ulster County’s Emergency Services and Fire Investigations Unit have zero tolerance for anyone who puts lives of our first responders at risk for their own financial gain and will diligently investigate every suspicious fire in our communities.”
Ilyayev turned himself in at the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, July 12. He was charged with insurance fraud in the second degree, a class C felony, and was released with an appearance ticket returnable to the town of Wawarsing Justice Court on July 30, 2021.
The Ulster County Fire Investigation Unit and DFS’ Criminal Investigation Unit were assisted by the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office and Ulster County District Attorney’s Office.
Source: New York State Department of Financial Services/insurance journal
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