Westfield man pleads guilty to fraud stemming from pizza shop fire


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — The owner of a Connecticut pizza parlor has pleaded guilty to a fraud charge for setting fire to his own business and then collecting insurance money.

Federal prosecutors say 32-year-old Mustafa Zabana, an Iraqi national living in Westfield, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty this week to mail fraud.

Authorities say in June 2016 Zabana set a fire at Bruno’s Pizza in Enfield that caused damage to the restaurant as well as other businesses in the mall where it was located. Prosecutors say after the fire, Zabana filed an insurance claim and received a $5,000 check. He then continued to pursue additional insurance payments.

He faces up to 20 years in prison at sentencing on June 29.

Zabana was lauded for his good deeds in a December 2015 story in the Journal Inquirer.

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