Arson Added to Charges For NH WomanInsurance Fraud — By Trace America on July 25, 2012 at 1:58 PM
A woman who was already convicted of filing a false insurance claim in New Hampshire has been indicted on new charges that she purposely set fire to her home.
According to Seacoastonline.com, Tammiann Searle, 40, faces charges of arson with intent to collect insurance in connection with fires that were set back in September of 2010.
Along with that charge, she was also convicted in connection with insurance fraud in June of 2009, and charged in March of 2010 with calling in a bomb threat to a New Hampshire school where she was a program assistant who taught fifth-graders.
The call came in at 7:31 a.m., which is before students arrived. Bow police later tracked the threat, which came in as a 911 call, to Searle, for which she was charged with creating a false public alarm.
As for the house fires, Searle was indicted with Bryan Cormier, 42, who is listed as the owner of the house at the time of the fires. Cormier is also facing the same charge as Searle.
On September 25, 2010, Kittery firefighters were called to Cormier’s residence at 10:30 p.m., and then were called back again at 1:09 a.m. and 1:50 a.m. on the next day.
The fires started in both the kitchen and in a storage area, all of which were extinguished with little difficulty, said Detective Raymond Hazen.
Cormier then went on to file claims for house repairs that were needed due to the fires.
“The fire department called the police department because they suspected something was amiss,” said Hazen. “The state fire marshal’s office subsequently determined the fires were not accidental. Someone had started them.”
As a result of the preliminary investigation, Kittery police found out about the earlier case in 2009. In this case, and due to a fire in an apartment above her, Searle filed a $24,000 claim against her renters insurance, stating that her furniture and electronics were destroyed by water damage.
She removed the items from her apartment and then lied to the insurance adjuster. Investigators later found the items in good condition either stored or in use by friends.
She pleaded guilty this past March and was sentenced to 1½-3 years in prison –which was suspended, and a $4,000 fine.
Hazen declined to provide details of the investigation that led to the arrests of Cormier and Searle, but he said the reason it took nearly two years to bring the charges against the two is because arson cases are “very time consuming. There’s a lot of legwork and a lot of officers and departments involved.”
This post is authored by Trace America.