A Minneapolis man told cops he’d been the victim of a terrifying, politically motivated attack in the heat of the 2020 presidential race: His camper van was set on fire because it displayed a Trump flag, and the flames had spread to engulf other vehicles and his garage, which itself had been spray-painted with graffiti supporting Joe Biden and Black Lives Matter, just weeks after local police killed George Floyd.
Investigators have now concluded that he staged the whole thing.
Denis Molla, 29, from Brooklyn Center, has been charged with two counts of wire fraud over the incident in September 2020. Molla told KARE 11 he’d chased three people out of his yard on the night of the fire, and one of them had dropped a box of matches during the pursuit. When he returned home, he found his camper ablaze.
Messages that said “Biden 2020,” “BLM,” and a symbol believed to be associated with Antifa were scrawled across his garage door, which was also being destroyed by the inferno. Molla even claimed he’d rescued four sleeping puppies from inside the garage.
But law enforcement say his noble story is bullshit. Molla has been indicted for submitting over $300,000 in bogus insurance claims, and receiving around $61,000 from his insurance company.
“In reality, as Molla well knew, Molla started his own property on fire, Molla spray-painted the graffiti on his own property and there were no unknown males near his homes,” charging documents say, according to the Star Tribune.
Better still, a fundraiser set up to support Molla after he suffered what the page calls a “hate crime” led to him receiving over $17,000 in donations, court documents show. “Dennis is a father of 2 young children, a hardworking man, devoted man of God and a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump,” the fundraiser description says. “Dennis installed a Trump 2020 flag on his truck and due to the spray paint left on his garage door, ‘BIDEN 2020 BLM’ it’s believed he was target for his patriotic support of our president.”
Molla’s alleged staged hate crime came the year after actor Jussie Smollett pretended to have been targeted in a hate crime by assailants shouting their support for Trump in Chicago.