Massachusetts Resident Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charge Stemming from Arson at Enfield Restaurant
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that, on April 16, 2018, MUSTAFA ZABANA, 32, a citizen of Iraq last residing in Westfield, Mass., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to a fraud offense related to an arson at his Connecticut restaurant.
According to court documents and statements made in court, ZABANA was the majority owner of Zabana, Inc., doing business as Bruno’s Pizza, a restaurant located at 634 Enfield Street in Enfield, Connecticut. On June 3, 2016, at approximately 10:42 p.m., ZABANA intentionally set a fire in Bruno’s Pizza, causing damage to the restaurant and its contents, as well as other commercial space in the mall where the restaurant was located. Emergency fire personnel responded to the scene and extinguished the fire.
After the fire, ZABANA filed an insurance claim with Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. Liberty Mutual sent ZABANA an advance check of $5,000 for claimed loss. ZABANA then continued to pursue additional payments from Liberty Mutual through at least December 2016.
ZABANA pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. Judge Arterton scheduled sentencing for June 29, 2018.
ZABANA has been detained since his arrest on March 23, 2017.
This investigation has been conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (AFT), ATF Fire Research Lab, Connecticut State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit, Enfield Police Department, and Thompsonville Fire Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Natasha Freismuth and Dave Vatti.