Some documents have been sealed in a federal case after an Adair County couple was accused of scheming to commit fraud in an insurance claim relating to a house fire where an Adair County firefighter suffered a heart attack and later lost his life.
Steve Allen (Boo) Pritchard and Brandi Waggener Pritchard were indicted in federal district court on Wednesday and charged with one count of mail fraud. At least two documents involved in the case have been sealed.
Records show at least one arrest was made and Steve Pritchard signed a document on Thursday waiving his right to have counsel appointed for him.
In the indictment, Brandi Pritchard is accused of purchasing a $50,000 renter’s insurance policy for the contents of her home at 3043 Liberty Rd., Columbia on June 24, 2011.
The house was destroyed by fire on June 30, 2011. Local firefighter Charles Sparks died on July 8, 2011 after suffering a heart attack while fighting the blaze.
The indictment then charges that the Prichards submitted an insurance claim alleging they lost items they did not own.
They received two separate payments from the Grange Insurance Company through the mail.
While mail fraud is the first count on the indictment, it indicates there is a second count that has been redacted. The indictment includes a notice of forfeiture, stating there are two felony charges and the defendants would forfeit any property directly or indirectly obtained through criminal activity.
An indictment is a legal accusation of a crime. It does not establish guilt.