Watch CBS News

Charges: Man lit his camper on fire, defaced own garage to appear targeted due to Trump flag

Charges: Man lit his camper on fire to appear targeted due to Trump flag
Charges: Man lit his camper on fire to appear targeted due to Trump flag 00:37

MINNEAPOLIS – A Brooklyn Center man faces federal charges after he lit his own camper on fire to make it look like a politically-motivated crime, and then allegedly filed several fraudulent insurance claims.

denis-molla.jpg
Denis Molla in 2020 CBS

The U.S. Attorney's Office says Denis Vladmirovich Molla, 29, is charged with two counts of wire fraud in connection with the fire that took place on September 23, 2020.

Molla reported to police that someone set fire to his camper "because it had a Trump 2020 flag displayed on it," and spray painted the Antifa or anarchy symbol, "BLM" and "Biden 2020" on his garage door. The U.S. Attorney's Office says Molla actually lit the fire and defaced the garage himself.

molla-1.jpg
Denis Molla

Court documents show that Molla then "submitted multiple insurance claims seeking coverage for the damage to his garage, camper, vehicles, and residence caused by the fire."

Molla submitted insurance claims totaling more than $300,000, receiving only $61,000 in the process. He then accused his insurance company of "defrauding him." Court documents show he also yielded more than $17,000 from two GoFundMe accounts.

molla-2.jpg
Denis Molla

Molla made his first court appearance Tuesday.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.