WAUKESHA (WITI) -- The Waukesha Co. Sheriff’s Department has arrested and charged the owner of a home in the Village of Lac La Belle following a fire that destroyed much of the house in June of 2013.
Late in the evening of June 10th, 2013 a fire raged at a home in an upscale neighborhood in the village of Lac La Belle.
Ruins stand on the spot today, and the home's owner, Ydbi Islami, finds himself accused of helping set the fire in attempt to collect insurance money. His lawyer says there's no basis to link Islami to the blaze.
"I believe that this is part of a concerted effort for the insurance company to avoid its two million dollar claim," said Islami's lawyer.
Shortly after the fire, the Fox6 investigators revealed that Islami was also involved in a civil lawsuit at that time. Filed by former employees of a restaurant he'd previously owned, they claimed Islami had failed to pay them overtime wages. Those claims added up to more than $190,00 dollars.
The criminal complaint released Friday reveals that Islami and his wife were associated with three other fires in the past, including one that happened at the same address back in 2000. The family restaurant also burned down in December of that year.
The complaint alleges that gasoline was intentionally poured throughout the home prior to last June's fire. It also says Islami claimed to have been at Potawatomi Casino while the home burned, but video surveillance shows him at a nearby gas station about forty minutes before the fire was reported to authorities.
He also faces three other charges -- all felonies. Combined, they could carry a penalty of up to $145,000 dollars and or 60 years in prison.
Islami is also a registered sex offender. His bail was set at $200,000 dollars cash and he'll be back in court on July 25th.