Jailed arsonist accused of trying to defraud firefighters, police, witnesses
SEATTLE — Martin Pang, who is serving time for setting a 1995 fire that resulted in the death of four firefighters, is accused of attempting to launch a scheme that would defraud and steal the identities of firefighters, police and witnesses who were involved in his case, Seattle police said.
If Pang is found guilty of any charges, he could face more time behind bars. Pang is currently serving a 35-year-sentence at Monroe prison and is currently scheduled to be released in 2018.
Seattle police said that in March, the Washington State Department of Corrections discovered that Pang and another man, who is not in prison, were working on a scheme to set up a number of credit accounts under the names of various people involved in Pang’s 1995 conviction for manslaughter. Their purported intent was to funnel money from the accounts into their own offshore accounts. Part of the scheme also reportedly included skimming money from the bank accounts of the Tulalip Casino, where Pang’s accomplice was previously employed.
“Pang saw this as an opportunity to make a ton of money, so he had a nest egg when he got out of prison,” Seattle police detective Todd Jakobsen said.
Pang and his co-hort reportedly believed they could make millions off their scheme.
An undercover detective met with Pang’s accomplice, who provided him with checks, social security information and IDs of their intended targets. Police arrested him and then searched Pang’s cell where they found a list of names and social security numbers of 20 witnesses in Pang’s trial.
Pang and his accomplice had not taken any money from any victims or the Tulalip Casino by the time they were caught.
The Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office will determine whether or not to file charges. If Pang is found guilty of new charges, he could lose significant good behavior time and could also face another five years in prison, Seattle police said.