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Two defendants charged with arson of Kenmore restaurant to collect insurance money

STAFF REPORTS

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Mushtak Al Mosaadi, a/k/a Mo, 47, and Omran Al-Khazraji, a/k/a Omarwas, 47, with conspiracy to damage and destroy a building used in interstate commerce by fire, and damaging and destroying a building used in interstate commerce by fire. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years. In addition, Al Mosaadi is also charged with mail fraud which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years.    
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael P. Felicetta, who is handling the case, stated that according to the indictment, on May 25, 2016, defendant Al Mosaadi obtained a general liability insurance policy for the Babylon Gardens, a restaurant located at 1141 Kenmore Avenue in Kenmore, NY. On the day he obtained the policy, Al Mosaadi increased the policy limit from $50,000 to $100,000.
Between May 25, 2016, and June 3, 2016, the defendant devised a scheme to obtain money from the insurance company. On June 2, 2016, defendant Al Mosaadi, working with others, intentionally started a fire, and caused another to start a fire, inside the restaurant. On that same day, defendant Al Mosaadi gave a signed sworn statement to the Kenmore Police Department, in which he falsely claimed that he had no idea who started the fire and that he would assist the police in determining who committed the arson. On June 3, 2016, defendant Al Mosaadi signed an “Authorization to Perform Services and Direct Payment,” for “Sullivan’s Cleaning and Restoration” and for “CRDN of WNY” to pay for cleaning and repair to damages caused by the fire.
The defendants were arraigned on September 24, 2018, before U.S. District Judge Michael J. Roemer and were released.
The indictment is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ashan Benedict and the Kenmore Police Department, under the direction of Chief Peter Breitnauer.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.