BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Lutherville-Timonium man was found guilty Monday of conspiring to burn down his business in Baltimore to collect insurance money.
A jury found Demetrios “Jimmy” Stavrakis guilty late Monday after a seven-week trial. Evidence presented at trial showed Stavrakis began planning the arson in 2015 after years of financial losses from businesses he owned, including Adcor Industries. Those businesses were based in a building at 234 South Haven Street in east Baltimore.READ MORE: Fewer Blue Crabs In The Chesapeake Bay "Continue A Worrying Trend"
The justice department said Stavrakis put tape on a security feature on the building’s front door on July 28, 2015, allowing whoever set the fire to get into the building. A passerby reportedly called 911 after seeing smoke coming from the building early the following morning.READ MORE: ‘We Don’t Have To Accept This’ Calls For Action After Texas School Massacre As Shootings Rise In Baltimore, Nationwide
The blaze destroyed an office and damaged part of the building’s ceiling.
Adjusters reportedly submitted claims of more than $21 million, of which Stavrakis collected more than $15 million, the justice department said. He then reportedly used around half of the money to repair and replace the building and its equipment while spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on vehicles, watches and jewelry.MORE NEWS: Security Increases After Maryland Man Threatens Gale-Bailey Elementary School
He faces a minimum of 15 years in prison when he’s sentenced in January.