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August 20, 2014

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Man sentenced in scheme to defraud insurance company, authorities say

A Henderson man was ordered to pay $6,296 in restitution after pleading guilty in a scheme to defraud his insurance company by setting fire to a mobile home and making it appear the blaze was caused by a vagrant, the Nevada attorney general’s office announced Tuesday.

Randall Craig Shook, 58, pleaded guilty to one count of insurance fraud and was also sentenced to probation and ordered to undergo mental health counseling. The restitution includes reimbursement to the attorney general’s office and the fire and police departments.

On May 20, 2010, the manager of the Gingerwood Mobile Home Park in Boulder City was checking on properties when he smelled smoke and noticed the door to Shook’s home was open. He went inside and found heavy smoke coming from the rear bedroom, officials said.

The Boulder City Fire Department responded and extinguished the blaze before it spread to other structures.

Investigators discovered discarded food wrappers, clothes and a sleeping bag, making it appear someone had been camping inside the home, officials said. But investigators concluded the fire had been intentionally set in four separate locations, officials said.

Further investigation revealed that Shook had turned off power to the home in April 2010 and had been offering the residence for sale, the attorney general’s office said.

As a result of the scheme, Shook defrauded his insurance company of $3,296 and triggered costly investigations by the Boulder City Fire and Police Departments, the attorney general’s office said.

Shook ultimately confessed to the scheme, attributing his conduct to mental illness, officials said.

He sent a letter to a detective stating, “I have had enough problems in my life! I give up. You will read in the news about me,” the attorney general’s office said.

The detective later learned that on June 9, 2010, Shook had driven head-on into a semi truck on U.S. 95 between Quartzite and Yuma, Ariz., landing him in intensive care, officials said.

He pleaded guilty in the case after he recovered, officials said.

Judge Kathleen Delaney of Las Vegas District Court, Department 28, sentenced Shook on Nov. 3.

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