East Hartford Resident Charged with Setting Fire to Middletown Restaurant to Collect Insurance Proceeds
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that a federal grand jury sitting in Hartford has returned an indictment charging JOHN A. BARILE, 51, of East Hartford, with one count of conspiracy, one count of arson, and two counts of mail fraud. The indictment was returned on December 30, 2014, and BARILE was arrested at his home last night.
The indictment alleges that BARILE and others conspired to set fire to Enzo’s Restaurant and Lounge, a restaurant that he jointly owned that was located on Main Street in Middletown, in order to collect the insurance proceeds. Shortly after midnight on January 10, 2010, BARILE ignited the fire, left the restaurant and locked the doors, leaving the other owner inside. After the fire, BARILE sought payment from an insurance company for losses suffered as a result of the fire, and concealed his role in the fire from the insurance company and law enforcement. The insurance company ultimately paid approximately $165,000 to BARILE to settle the insurance claims related to the fire.
The other owner who was in the restaurant at the time of the fire was rescued by the Middletown Fire Department.
At his arraignment today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford, BARILE entered a plea of not guilty and was ordered detained pending a hearing scheduled for January 9, 2014.
If convicted of arson, BARILE faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of seven years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years. The mail fraud charges carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count, and the conspiracy charge carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Middletown Police Department and the Connecticut State Police. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anastasia E. King and Neeraj N. Patel.