Local News

Jury Finds Plymouth Man Guilty of 2 Arson Counts 

By Attorney General Dana Nessel

LANSING – Friday, Patrick Nolan, 42, of Plymouth, was found guilty by a jury in the 3rd Circuit Court in Wayne County of one count of Arson of an Insured Dwelling, a potential life-sentence offense, and one count of 2nd Degree Arson, a 20-year felony, announced Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. Each count may also incur a fine of $20,000 or three times the value of the property, whichever is greater.  

In the early hours of Jan. 1, 2019, the Plymouth Township Police and Fire Departments responded to a house fire. Nolan owned the home, and subsequently attempted to make an insurance claim on the loss, having started the fire himself for this purpose.  

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“Every arson represents another instance where our firefighters and first responders risk their lives to protect public safety, and that’s an unacceptable danger to our communities,” said Nessel. “I am grateful for the investigative collaboration between my Department and the Fraud Investigation Unit at the Department of Insurance and Financial Services, that ultimately lead to these criminal convictions. Insurance fraud drives up the costs of insurance policies for consumers everywhere.” 

Several departments worked on the investigation, including Michigan State Police Arson investigators. The fire was determined to be arson for the following reasons:  

  • The fire originated in three separate, unconnected areas identified as the master bedroom, basement storage room, and the common hall at the top of the basement stairs;  
  • Ignitable liquid identified by laboratory analysis as gasoline was found throughout the home; and 
  • The fire was human caused, no natural causes were located in the home.  

Review of the infotainment system in Nolan’s truck found he was parked at the residence less than two hours before the fire was reported by a neighbor. 

The Attorney General worked alongside the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) Fraud Investigation Unit (FIU) to investigate this case. 

“Protecting Michiganders from higher costs caused by insurance and financial services fraud is a key part of DIFS’ mission, and we are grateful to have the support and partnership of the Attorney General’s Office,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Michiganders who suspect fraud can report it online or by calling DIFS at 877-999-6442 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.” 

The DIFS FIU investigates criminal and fraudulent activity related to the insurance and financial markets and works with the Attorney General and other law enforcement to prosecute these crimes. Suspected insurance fraud can be reported to DIFS safely, easily and, in most cases, anonymously by calling 877-999-6442 or online by visiting DIFS’ website

Nolan will next appear in the 3rd Circuit Court in Wayne County for sentencing before Judge William Giovan on October 17th.  

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