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Fargo man found guilty of setting fire to home to collect insurance

Quang Son surveys the fire damage in December 2014 to his south Fargo home. Son has been found guilty of setting fire to his home to collect insurance money. Forum file photo

FARGO — A Fargo man whose house went up in flames twice in two years was found guilty of setting one of the fires in order collect insurance off the loss.

A 12-person jury found Quang Son guilty on Friday, May 11, for setting his home at 4264 Russet Ave. in Fargo on fire on Dec. 15, 2014. Judge Susan Bailey ordered a pre-sentencing screening for Son and a sentencing date will be set within 90 days.

Court documents show Son filed a fraudulent claim to his insurance company in order to receive more than $50,000 for the loss.

He also lied about his whereabouts during the fire, said prosecutor Renata Selzer.

According to court documents, Son lied about sitting his car at his place of work during the fire. Cellphone records show that Son's phone travelled from his place of work on the morning of the fire to a location near his home and back to his work.

The December 2014 fire was the second fire to damage Son's home. The first occurred in November 2012.

Reconstruction work done to the house following the 2012 fire cost more than $230,000 and Son stopped making payments in February 2014 with more than $57,000 left unpaid, according to a lawsuit filed by a contractor.

The civil case, filed by Don Engebretson Construction, was dismissed and closed in 2016 before going to trial.

According to Selzer, guilty verdicts for arson and insurance can carry a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of $20,000.