ST. PAUL (WJON News) -- The former owner of the Press Bar and Parlor in St. Cloud has been sentenced for intentionally setting fire to the place as part of a scheme to obtain insurance money.

A federal judge today, sentenced 43-year-old Andrew Welsh to just under six years in prison and was fined $3-million. He pleaded guilty to one count of arson in May.

According to court documents, Welsh maintained a business owner’s insurance policy on the business.

On February 17, 2020, Welsh used gasoline to set a fire in his office located in the basement of the Press Bar. The fire eventually spread and resulted in the total destruction of the building as well as other losses.

On February 24, 2020, Welsh got a Public Insurance Adjuster to assist with insurance claims related to the fire at Press Bar.

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On February 26, 2020, Welsh, through the Public Insurance Adjuster, claimed that he was entitled to payment from the insurance company in the amount of just over $1.4 million for property damage and other losses related to the fire.

Welsh admitted that in submitting the insurance claim, he falsely stated that “said the loss did not originate by any act, design, or procurement on the part of your insured,” when, as Welsh knew, his arson of the Press Bar caused the loss for which he sought compensation.

Cowboy Jack's sat adjacent to the Press Bar and was heavily damaged by the blaze.  The owners of Cowboy Jack's had to tear down their bar and have since bought the Press Bar site to build a new Cowboy Jack's across both sites.

Photo: Conner Dols
Photo: Conner Dols
Press Bar fire. Feb. 17, 2020 - WJON
Press Bar fire. Feb. 17, 2020 - WJON

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