ST. PAUL (WJON News) – The former owner of St. Cloud’s Press Bar and Parlor has been convicted of intentionally setting the place on fire as part of a scheme to obtain insurance money .

A federal judge today sentenced a 43-year-old man Andrew Welsh to just under six years in prison and a $3 million fine. He pleaded guilty to one count of arson in May.

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

On February 17, 2020, Welsh used gasoline to set fire to his office in the basement of the Press Bar. The fire eventually spread and resulted in the total destruction of the building along with other casualties.

On February 24, 2020, Welsh asked a public insurance adjuster to help with insurance claims related to the Press Bar fire.

On February 26, 2020, Welsh, through the state insurance adjuster, claimed he was entitled to a payout from the insurance company in the amount of just over $1.4 million. dollars for property damage and other fire-related losses.

Welsh admitted that in submitting the insurance claim he falsely stated that “the loss did not arise from any act, design or purchase on the part of your insured”, when, as Welsh knew, his arson of the press bar had caused the loss for which he sought compensation.

Cowboy Jack’s sat next to the press bar and was badly damaged by the fire. The owners of Cowboy Jack’s had to demolish their bar and have since purchased the Press Bar site to build a new Cowboy Jack’s on both sites.

Photo: Conner Dols

Photo: Conner Dols

Tap Fire Bar. February 17, 2020 – WJON

Tap Fire Bar. February 17, 2020 – WJON

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