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Muskegon Landlord Sentenced to 55 Years for Arson, Fraud

Posted at 4:11 PM, Nov 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-07 20:36:38-05

Singer, Gerald EugeneMUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — A 74-year-old landlord will spend the rest of his life behind bars for arson and fraud crimes involving 11 of his properties in Muskegon County.

Gerald Singer received a 55-year jail sentence Thursday after being convicted in federal court in March.  He was also ordered to pay more than $650,000 in restitution to the victims of his crimes.

More than 100 witnesses testified during Singer’s trial.   He was found guilty of two counts of arson, three counts of using fire to commit mail fraud, one count of mail fraud and five counts of tax fraud.

The mail fraud fire charges applied to businesses he owned in Norton Shores and Muskegon and a four-unit apartment complex in Muskegon Heights. There were also fires at six additional properties, including a 2006  fire on Myrtle Avenue in Muskegon.  A release from the Department of Justice also cites two attempted arsons at properties in Muskegon Heights.

The jury also convicted Singer of failing to disclose roughly $500,000 in insurance proceeds and creating false tax returns between 2005 and 2008.