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Woman allegedly torched tax-subsidized homes for insurance money

August 02, 2013|By Christopher Goffard
  • Police mugshot of Andrea Michelle Robinson.
Police mugshot of Andrea Michelle Robinson. (Orange County District…)

A 38-year-old Aliso Viejo woman is charged with setting fires in her taxpayer-subsidized residences, fraudulently collecting the insurance money, and cheating on welfare.

Authorities said that in August 2009, Andrea Michelle Robinson set a fire in a bedroom of the Rancho Santa Margarita home where she was living while her 12-year-old daughter was asleep in another room, and collected $25,000 in insurance for the damage.

In 2011 and 2012, authorities said, she set fires at her residences in Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel.

The Orange County district attorney’s office said she set the fires in residences financed by the department of Housing and Urban Development, in multi-family complexes where others were endangered by the flames.

She is accused of fraudulently collecting more than $128,000 in claims, plus more than $85,000 in welfare and other benefits.

Robinson faces felony counts of arson, insurance fraud, grand theft, perjury, and other charges.

Authorities said she lived a lavish lifestyle, driving a Land Rover and buying designer handbags while claiming she needed public assistance.

The district attorney's office said Robinson was arrested on July 11. She is being held on $250,000 bail and is set to be arraigned Friday.

She faces up to 41 years in prison if she is convicted.

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christopher.goffard@latimes.com

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