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Burned Business's Owner Gets Prison

March 14, 1986

The owner of a Sun Valley manufacturing plant destroyed by arson in 1982 was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison and ordered to repay his insurance company nearly $2 million.

Robert Feldman, 56, of Agoura Hills, was convicted Feb. 4. on federal racketeering and insurance fraud charges that he collected more than $2.5 million from insurance policies by having the Sun Valley plant and several other businesses burned between 1973 and 1982.

Feldman was first indicted in September on a charge of masterminding the fire at his Grow Gear Inc. aircraft parts business in Sun Valley.

The indictment was expanded in October to include the racketeering charge and allegations that he was responsible for fires during the 1970s at a restaurant and two car washes he owned in Massachusetts.

One of the more than 20 Los Angeles city firefighters at Thursday's sentencing said they came to support tough punishment for arsonists.

U.S. District Judge Edward Rafeedie also placed Feldman on probation for five years after the prison sentence is served.

Prosecutors said the September indictment was the result of a three-year investigation by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the city Fire Department.

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