A northwest Iowa landlord is facing stiff fines and a decade in prison for a scheme to burn down a house she rented. Sixty-seven-year-old Shirley Weimer of Fort Dodge pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to knowingly use fire to commit wire fraud in violation of federal law after collecting over $78,000 from State Farm Insurance when her rental home Burned down.
At the plea hearing, the evidence revealed Weimer had recruited a tenant, Lisa Young, to burn down the home that Weimer owned and rented to Young. Weimer promised Young $10,000 of the insurance money for her role in the crime. Weimer also recruited Ashley and Gerald Straight and others into her scheme to defraud the insurance company.
The four followed through on the scheme and the rental home was destroyed by fire. The sentencing date for Weimer is pending. Weimer faces a maximum 10-year sentence and a $250,000 fine. Lisa Young and Ashley Straight will be sentenced on April 22. Gerald Straight will be sentenced on April 29.
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)