Fraud In Saratoga Winners Arson

The former nightclub owner accused of setting the fire that burned down the Saratoga Winners club in Latham, N.Y., last year was found guilty Aug. 25 of insurance fraud but not arson.

The verdict in Albany County Court was handed down during a retrial of the prosecution’s case against Akiva Daniel Abraham that took place last December and ended in a mistrial, according to the Times Union.

Abraham faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced Oct.15.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Barnes presented evidence that Abraham bought four gallons of tiki torch fuel and boxes of fireplace logs three days before the club burned down. A police search of Abraham’s house last May reportedly turned up empty boxes that had contained the fuel and fireplace logs.

Barnes also said that Abraham held a “bogus mortgage” on the venue for $475,000 and filed a “property loss notice” to try to get $380,000 from the insurance company, the paper said.

The facility, which had hosted Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Good Charlotte, Rob Zombie, Buckcherry and Joan Osborne, to name a few, had been closed for several years prior to the fire.

Abraham was free on $250,000 bail during the trial but is now in custody at the Albany County jail.

Defense attorney Bryan Rounds told the Times Union he’ll file an appeal.