GOSHEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio — A man paid others to burn down his Goshen Township home in 2015 and attempted to frame his ex-girlfriend in a bungled play for custody of their child, according to the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office.
A grand jury charged him Tuesday with multiple felony counts of aggravated arson, insurance fraud and perjury in connection to the “elaborate scheme.”
Paul D. Hicks, 43, turned himself in at the sheriff's office Wednesday evening. But the still-unidentified individuals who set the Stumpy Lane home on fire remained at large.
According to the sheriff’s office, Hicks placed a surveillance camera inside a fire-protected safe before inviting the masked arsonists-for-hire to burn down his home June 18, 2015.
During the subsequent investigation, “Hicks attempted to convince detectives that his ex-girlfriend was captured on the surveillance not only setting the house on fire but also causing damage to his property months before.” The detectives confirmed she had not been part of the arson and eventually uncovered Hicks’ duplicity, the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook.
“The investigation revealed that Hicks developed an elaborate scheme to have his own residence set on fire, with the intentions of framing his ex-girlfriend to gain custody of their child and collect insurance money resulting from the fire,” the post reads. “Hicks is believed to be the organizer behind the entire incident.”
Anyone with information aboutvthe identities of his paid arsonists should call the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Unit at 513-732-7545.