For Immediate Release
Owner of St. Cloud Press Bar Charged with Arson, Insurance Fraud Scheme
United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the unsealing of a federal indictment charging ANDREW CHARLES WELSH, 41, with intentionally setting fire to his business and submitting a fraudulent insurance claim. WELSH, who was arrested earlier today, made his initial appearance today before Magistrate Judge Kate M. Menendez in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
According to the allegations in the indictment, WELSH is the owner and operator of the Press Bar and Parlor located in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. WELSH purchased and maintained a $1,350,000 business owner’s insurance policy for the Press Bar and Parlor. On February 17, 2020, WELSH 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 February 24, 2020, WELSH retained a Public Insurance Adjuster to assist in the preparation, presentation, and adjustment of insurance claims related to the fire. On February 26, 2020, WELSH, through the Public Insurance Adjuster, claimed that he was entitled to payment from the insurance company in the amount $1,430,123.28 for property damage and other losses related to the February 17, 2020 fire.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the St. Cloud Police Department, the St. Cloud Fire Department, and the Minnesota State Fire Marshals, Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Stearns County Attorney’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan H. Nelson and Evan B. Gilead are prosecuting the case, with support from Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Teirab.
The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
ANDREW CHARLES WELSH, 41
Saint Joseph, Minn.
- Arson, 1 count
- Use of fire to commit a federal felony, 1 count
- Wire fraud, 1 count