Home insurance fraud case of blown up house leads to conviction


The woman who blew up her house to rip off her insurer has been convicted by an Indiana judge.

A woman who blew up her home in a dramatic home insurance fraud case has been sentenced to 50 years in prison. The explosion killed two of the woman’s neighbors and destroyed part of an Indianapolis housing estate in November 2012.

Monserrate Shirley has pleaded guilty and will face the maximum number of years in prison for his crimes.

In early 2015, the 51-year-old woman pleaded guilty to two felony counts of conspiring to commit arson at her home. She also testified against her former boyfriend, Mark Leonard, who she was living with at the time of the explosion. In addition, she testified against her brother for participating in the home insurance fraud scheme. The goal was to destroy Shirley’s house in order to raise $ 300,000 insurance payment.

Marion County Superior Court Judge Sheila Carlisle sentenced Shirley to 50 years in prison for home insurance fraud.

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That said, Marion County District Attorney Terry Curry said he felt the sentence was appropriate. He called the Insurance fraud plotted a “senseless plot” and respected the judge’s decision. He admitted that Shirley had pleaded guilty, accepting responsibility for her crime. She also assisted in the process of the case by offering evidence throughout the investigation. However, Curry also pointed out that Shirley had not given thought to the very dangerous results of her insurance fraud scheme. This resulted in fatalities and a massive amount of property damage outside of his own home.

In a statement, Curry said: “No one involved in this investigation or prosecution will forget the stories of this tragedy and the continued fear and trauma it has caused to survivors.”

Prosecutors said Leonard was the real creator of the home insurance fraud program. He poured gasoline into two chambers and removed the natural gas safety valves, filling the house with gas in addition to gasoline. Leonard then set the microwave to create a spark. Leonard and Shirley were both out of town at a casino, gambling, when the house blew up. It killed 2 people and damaged or destroyed 80 neighboring houses.


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