McDowell County man sentenced for arson fraud scheme

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A McDowell County man was sentenced to more than three years in prison for an arson fraud scheme.

According to federal officials, 36-year-old Douglas Vineyard, of Welch, bought a home in Bluefield in July 2019 at the direction of 44-year-old Christopher Gross, of Bluefield, Virginia. Vineyard later purchased an insurance policy on the residence.

Vineyard, Gross, 52-year-old Scott Meadows, of Welch, and others devised a plan to burn down the house and collect the insurance money. Meadows set the home on the fire with two other people, who were offered $500 for their assistance. The insurance company eventually denied Vineyard’s sworn statement of proof of loss.

Vineyard was sentenced to three years and one month in prison and three years of supervised release for wire fraud. Meadows and Gross previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud; the men will be sentenced on Jan. 9, 2023.

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