Demetrios (Jimmy) Stavrakis, 53, of Lutherville-Timonium, was convicted on Monday for arson conspiracy to damage his failing Baltimore-based business by setting it on fire in order to obtain insurance proceeds.
In 2015, Stavrakis conspired to burn down Adcor Industries at 234 S. Haven Street in Baltimore, later making an insurance claim for which he was paid over $15 million.
Prosecutors found that his business suffered an economic downturn starting in 2010 due to the loss of a client, causing Stavrakis to liquidate his assets. The company’s liabilities exceeded its assets by almost $900,000 at the time of the fire, sentencing documents showed.
On July 28, 2015, alarms were disarmed and the security feature on the front door was disabled with adhesive tape. During early-morning hours the next day, a fire was reported to law enforcement by a passerby who saw smoke coming from the building. Stavrakis then contacted an adjustment firm later the same day to request assistance in filing claims with his insurance company.
According to sentencing documents, half of the insurance payout to Stavrakis was used to restore damages to the building, purchase new machinery, inventory, and for other business expenses.
But additional insurance proceeds were used for personal expenses, including $600,000 which was transferred to an account in the name of Stavrakis’s wife, as well as recurring $6,000 payments sent to the same account.
Prosecutors also found that Stavrakis purchased over $35,000 in watches and jewelry and over $176,000 for vehicles, including a 2016 Mercedes-Benz, a Harley-Davidson Street Glide motorcycle, and a 2016 BMW titled and registered in the name of his wife.
Stavrakis faces five to 20 years in prison for the malicious destruction of property by fire; a mandatory 10 years in prison for use of fire to commit a federal felony; and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each of two counts of wire fraud related to the arson conspiracy, sentencing documents show.
Stavrakis is scheduled for sentencing on January 24, 2020.