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Press Release

Warren County, Kentucky, Woman Charged With Arson Of The Horse Cave, Kentucky Dollar General Store

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Kentucky

– Also charged with bankruptcy fraud in a superseding indictment

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – A Warren County, Kentucky woman was charged by a federal grand jury meeting in Bowling Green this week, with a single count of maliciously damaging and destroying, and attempting to damage and destroy, by means of fire, the Dollar General Store, a building, real, and personal property, located in Horse Cave, Kentucky, announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.

According to the indictment, on June 27, 2011, Debra Fowler Kessinger, age 57, attempted to destroy, by means of fire, the Dollar General Store located at 1015 East Main Street in Horse Cave, Kentucky.

Further, the defendant was charged in a separate two-count superseding indictment, this week, by a grand jury in Bowling Green, with bankruptcy fraud. According to the indictment, beginning in April 2008, and continuing through December 2009, Kessinger knowingly devised a scheme to defraud her creditors, the U.S. Trustee, and the Bankruptcy Court, by submitting a fraudulent Chapter 7 Bankruptcy petition, In re Debra K. Fowler, Case No. 08-11653, that concealed and failed to disclose the purchase and possession of property, and the receipt and transfer of life insurance proceeds and retirement benefits of her late husband to the bank accounts of family members and others for her own benefit.

If convicted at trial, Kessinger faces between 5 and up to 20 years in prison for destroying property by means of fire, a $250,000 fine and 3 years of supervised release. Kessinger also faces forfeiture of property, no more than 10 years in prison for bankruptcy fraud, a fine of $500,000 and 3 years of supervised release.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Judd and is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

The indictment of a person by a Grand Jury is an accusation
only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless
proven guilty.

Updated December 15, 2014