A Minnesota man who claimed that supporters of Joe Biden and Black Lives Matter set his garage on fire because of his support of Donald Trump stands accused by federal prosecutors of setting his home on fire himself in an effort to collect insurance.
In September 2020, Denis Molla, of Brooklyn Center, told local CBS affiliate WCCO that his home was targeted because of his support for Donald Trump — specifically the “Trump 2020” flags that were draped over Molla’s trucks.
Those trucks, as well as the garage on Molla’s property, were burned.
“I heard just a big, loud boom, or a bang,” an emotional Denis told WCCO at the time. “The first thing for me was my kids, my wife. What’s going on?”
Video of the scene showed graffiti painted on Molla’s garage.
“Biden 2020,” read one tag. “BLM” read another, the shorthand for Black Lives Matter punctuated with the symbol for anarchy.
Molla’s home suffered only minor damage, and he was also able to save four puppies from the garage, WCCO reported at the time.
“It just shocked me,” Molla had said. “This kind of stuff should not happen, especially over beliefs of some sort.”
But according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday, the “kind of stuff” didn’t happen — at least not to Molla.
Prosecutors say Molla set the fires himself — blaming it on “three unknown males” — and then proceeded to reap nearly $80,000 from it.
Molina, the complaint says, “falsely reported to law enforcement” the following:
[T]hat someone lit his camper on fire, that three unknown males were near his home when he heard an explosion, that his garage door was vandalized with spray painted graffiti stating “Biden 2020,” “BLM” and an Antifa symbol, and that his camper was targeted because it had a Trump 2020 flag displayed on it.
“In reality, as Molla well knew, Molla started his own property on fire, Molla spray painted the graffiti on his own property, and there were no unknown males near his home,” the complaint said.
As part of the scheme, Molla allegedly submitted “multiple insurance claims” to his insurance company, which is not identified in the complaint, seeking coverage for the fire damage to his garage, camper, vehicles, and home. When insurance denied some of the complains, Molla allegedly submitted written complaints to the insurance company, saying that it was defrauding him.
He wrote at least one email to the insurance company with the subject line “Dennis Molla Arson Hate Crime September 23,” according to the complaint.
Molla was apparently so sure his alleged scheme would work that he “threatened to report Victim Insurance Company A to the Department of Commerce and the Attorney General,” the complaint said.
Molla was also behind the GoFundMe accounts that raised money for him and his family.
“Molla withdrew thousands of dollars donated to the two GoFundMe accounts and deposited the donated money in to his personal Wells Fargo bank account,” the complaint says.
Although Molla filed an insurance claim for more than $300,000, he received approximately $61,000, the complaint says. He also collected around $17,000 from individual GoFundMe donors.
Following local news coverage, conservative media, including Fox News and OAN, also picked up on the story.
According to court records, Molla appeared in court on Tuesday and entered a plea of not guilty. He has been released on his own recognizance.
An attorney for Molla declined Law&Crime’s request for comment.
Read the criminal complaint, below.
[Image via YouTube screengrab/WCCO.]
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