Richard Orlandini, 62, of Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, was indicted by a state grand jury on charges of aggravated arson (2nd degree), insurance fraud (2nd degree), theft by deception (2nd degree), and attempted theft by deception (2nd degree). Orlandini is set to be arraigned on the charges on December 4, 2023, in Superior Court in Camden County.
An investigation by the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor (OIFP) found that on or about October 19, 2018, Orlandini started a fire at his residence on Chapel Avenue West in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, with the purpose of destroying the home and collecting insurance proceeds for the damage. According to the Cherry Hill Fire Department, firefighters arrived to find the two-story, single-family house “well involved” in flames. The fire was placed under control at approximately 1:25 a.m. on October 20, 2018. There were no reported injuries. The house was subsequently demolished.
The circumstances surrounding the fire recklessly placed others in danger of death or bodily injury. Further, Orlandini is alleged to have obtained $75,000 or more by deception, having obtained benefits under a homeowner’s insurance policy from Allstate Insurance Company that he was not entitled to, since he allegedly set the fire.
“This defendant allegedly endangered the lives of the first responders who responded to this fire, as well as his neighbors, all for his financial gain,” said Attorney General Platkin. “We take these cases seriously, and we will prosecute those who commit arson and related offenses to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Those who commit arson with flagrant disregard for life and property, risking the lives of others to try to get insurance proceeds, will be caught and prosecuted,” said Interim Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Al Garcia.
These charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
Deputy Attorney General Amanda Nini presented the case to the State Grand Jury on behalf of OIFP, under the supervision of Assistant Bureau Chief Crystal Callahan and Bureau Chief Cheryl Maccaroni. The investigation was conducted by OIFP Detective Nicholas Esposito, under the supervision of Lt. Anne Hayes and Deputy Chief Anthony Butler. The New Jersey State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Cherry Hill Fire Marshal’s Office, the Cherry Hill Police Department, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, the New Jersey State Police, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) assisted with the investigation. Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Garcia thanked his staff for their work on this case, as well as all partnering agencies.
OIFP’s mission includes coordination of all anti-insurance fraud activities statewide, and many successful prosecutions are a result of initial anonymous tips. If you are concerned about insurance cheating and have information about a fraud, OIFP wants to hear from you. You can report fraud anonymously by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or visiting www.NJInsurancefraud.org. State regulations permit a reward to be paid to eligible persons who provide information that leads to an arrest, prosecution, and conviction for insurance fraud.
Insurance Fraud – Report It. End It.
Defense Attorney: Unknown at this time