Wandale J. Fulton, 40, pleaded guilty Thursday, Jan. 27, to one count of conspiracy to use fire in the commission of wire and mail fraud, to one count of arson in the commission of a federal crime and a conspiracy count. commit bank fraud. Fulton also pleaded guilty to the charge contained in a separate federal indictment, one count of being a felon in possession of firearms.
In pleading guilty, Fulton admitted to participating in an arson and insurance fraud conspiracy from 2013 to 2019. Fulton and his co-conspirators bought homes in Kansas City, Missouri, insured them, burned or vandalized them, then filed insurance claims on the homes.
The conspirators made false statements on insurance claims, such as claiming that the houses were rented or occupied, that there were valuable contents in the houses, and that the houses had been renovated. After getting insurance, a co-conspirator would set the house on fire. The owner would then claim a total loss from the insurance company.
Fulton also admitted that he and his co-conspirators submitted fraudulent loan applications to the Heartland Community Credit Union. They also presented fraudulent automobile sales receipts to Heartland in order to obtain loans to purchase cars. The plea agreement cites four fraudulent auto loans obtained by credit union conspirators. .
ATF officers executed a search warrant at Fulton’s residence on March 26, 2019. During the search, officers found multiple firearms. Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to possess a firearm or ammunition. Fulton has a previous conviction for manslaughter.
Four co-conspirators have also pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
Under federal law, Fulton faces up to 20 years in federal prison without parole, plus a mandatory consecutive sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole for using fire in the commission of a federal crime.
A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of the pre-sentence investigation.