by Heidi L. Everett
Press Bar and Parlor owner Andrew Charles Welsh of St. Joseph has been federally charged with arson, use of fire to commit a federal felony and wire fraud.
On Dec. 11, United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald announced the federal indictment charging Welsh intentionally set fire to his business and submitted a fraudulent insurance claim.
According to the indictment, on Feb. 17, 2020, Welsh allegedly used an ignitable liquid to set fire to the basement of the Press Bar and Parlor. The fire eventually spread and resulted in the total destruction of the building as well as other losses. On Feb. 24, 2020, Welsh retained a public insurance adjuster to assist in the preparation, presentation, and adjustment of insurance claims related to the fire, including that he was entitled to payment of $1,430,123.28 for property damage and other losses related to the fire.
This case originated with the St. Cloud Police Department, St. Cloud Fire Department, Minnesota State Fire Marshals and Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Stearns County Attorney’s Office before being handled by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Welsh is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorneys Office, District of Minnesota.