Valley man guilty of arson for profit
By Peter H. Milliken
One man has been convicted by a jury in federal court of charges pertaining to an arson-for-profit scheme, but two other defendants were acquitted of all charges in the trial.
Majeed Bazazpour, 46, of Youngstown, was convicted Monday of mail fraud, use of fire to facilitate mail fraud, conspiracy to damage or destroy by fire, engaging in financial transactions involving proceeds of unlawful activity, engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from mail fraud, aiding and abetting arson and mail fraud in a blaze at 2604 Glenwood Ave., and aiding and abetting money laundering.
Bazazpour was acquitted of aiding and abetting arson to commit mail fraud in a fire at 608 N. Garland Ave., and aiding and abetting malicious damage by means of fire at 2732 Glenwood Ave.
Acquitted were Mohammad Fard, 46, of Canfield, and Iraj Nasseri, 50, of Poland.
U.S. District Judge Lesley Wells presided over the trial.
The charges stemmed from a 21-count indictment unsealed in April 2008. At least $695,112 in unlawfully obtained proceeds from insurance schemes was laundered, the U.S. Attorney said.
Between 1994 and 2005, nine fires were set at commercial buildings in Mahoning and Trumbull counties in the conspiracy, the U.S. Attorney said.
To conceal what they were doing, the defendants made misrepresentations to insurance companies by using multiple companies, failing to disclose prior loss claims, using variations of their names, using straw purchasers, and changing the names and addresses of the businesses, the government alleged.