ST. PAUL – Andrew Welsh has pleaded guilty to intentionally setting fire to the Press Bar and Parlor in downtown St. Cloud as part of a scheme to obtain insurance money.

According to court documents, Welsh maintained a business owner’s insurance policy on the business.

On February 17, 2020, Welsh used gasoline to set a fire in his office located in the basement of the Press Bar. The fire eventually spread and resulted in the total destruction of the building as well as other losses.

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On February 24, 2020, Welsh got a Public Insurance Adjuster to assist with insurance claims related to the fire at Press Bar.

On February 26, 2020, Welsh, through the Public Insurance Adjuster, claimed that he was entitled to payment from the insurance company in the amount of just over $1.4 million for property damage and other losses related to the fire.

Welsh admitted that in submitting the insurance claim, he falsely stated that “said loss did not originate by any act, design, or procurement on the part of your insured,” when, as Welsh knew, his arson of the Press Bar caused the loss for which he sought compensation.

A sentencing date has not been set.

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