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Topic: deadly fire

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June 25, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Arsonist Martin Pang plotted to defraud firefighters, witnesses against him, police say

 

Martin Pang in 2013 (Department of Corrections)

Martin Pang in 2013 (Department of Corrections)

Police investigators say they’ve stymied an elaborate identity fraud scheme by arsonist Martin Pang that focused on stealing the identities of firefighters, police officers and witnesses involved in his 1995 case.

According to  Seattle police, officials with the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) learned in March that Pang was working with an accomplice on the outside to siphon money from his victims’ accounts into an offshore account.

Pang pleaded guilty 18 years ago to four counts of manslaughter for setting a fire that destroyed a warehouse owned by his parents in the International District. Police and prosecutors said he set the blaze, which took the lives of Lt. Walter Kilgore, Lt. Gregory Shoemaker and firefighters Randall Terlicker and James Brown, for the insurance money.

Pang is serving a 35-year-sentence at the Monroe Correctional Complex and was slated for discharge in 2018. Investigators with the SPD’s Major Crimes Task Force, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Snohomish Regional Drug and Gang Task Force said Pang intended to use the money to move to Brazil and live well upon his release.

“Pang saw this as an opportunity to make a ton of money, so he had a nest egg when he got out of prison,” said Todd Jakobsen, a detective with Major Crimes Task Force.

Police said Pang had gained access to the Social Security numbers and other personal information of those involved in the investigation and prosecution of his criminal case through court records obtained by his attorney.

Pang and his accomplice, Charles McClain, also planned to steal money from bank accounts of the  Tulalip Casino, where Pang’s accomplice previously worked, police said.

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