Man arrested for insurance fraud following “suspicious” fire in Ulster County

The Ulster County Fire Investigation Unit and the New York State Department of Financial Services’ Criminal Investigation Unit announce the arrest of Yevganiy Ilyayev for second-degree insurance fraud following a year-long criminal investigation. 

On January 28, 2020, the Ellenville Fire Department requested the Ulster County Fire Investigation Unit to respond to 37 Cranberry Hill Road, in the Town of Wawarsing, to investigate the origin and cause of a house fire.  The fire investigation unit identified incendiary fire indicators and suspicious circumstances which resulted in a criminal investigation by law enforcement.   

At the time of the fire, the house had been condemned by the town of Wawarsing and a stop-work order was placed on the residence for suspected illegal renovations. 

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Following the fire, the defendant, Yevganiy Ilyayev, submitted a claim to Travelers Insurance seeking $478,000 as restitution for the loss of the house. 

Yevganiy Ilyayev turned himself in at the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, July 12. He was charged with second-degree insurance fraud, a class C Felony, and was released on an appearance ticket returnable to the Town of Wawarsing  Justice Court on July 30.

 “This defendant, falsified claim records hoping to obtain a fraudulent insurance payout,” said Ulster County director of emergency services Everett Erichsen. “Ulster County’s Emergency Services and Fire Investigations Unit have zero tolerance for anyone who puts lives of our first responders at risk for their own financial gain and will diligently investigate every suspicious fire in our communities.”   

“This case represents a great collaborative effort from the county agencies involved in this investigation; to place first responders and the public at risk for financial gain is unconscionable,” said Ulster County Sheriff Juan Figueroa “The Ulster County Sheriff’s Office stands as a committed partner with the Ulster County Fire Investigation Unit to investigate crimes of this nature“.   

“The Ulster County District Attorney’s Office is fully committed to prosecuting crimes involving insurance fraud,” said Ulster County District Attorney David Clegg, “especially where first responders have been placed at risk to enable the fraud.”

The Ulster County Fire Investigation Unit and the New York State Department of Financial Services’ Criminal Investigation Unit were assisted by the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office and Ulster County District Attorney’s Office.

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