Puerto Rico: Head of Aid Group Sentenced for Arson

SAN JUAN (HPD) — The director of an organization that helps disabled people in Puerto Rico was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison after pleading guilty in a case in which his center was set on fire by three other individuals, one of whom died in the incident, officials said Thursday.

Rafael García Sánchez was accused of conspiring to set fire to the Organization for Help for Persons with Disabilities in July 2016 and filing a fraudulent insurance claim for $250,000, according to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office.

One of the defendants in the case died from burns sustained when the fire started, authorities said, adding that the other two staged an accident and initially told police the burned man was working on a generator.

Those two individuals have pleaded guilty and are in prison. One of them is Garcia’s nephew, whose half brother was the subject who died. The other was a friend of theirs, prosecutor Alexander Alum told the Associated Press.

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