Man arrested in ‘elaborate’ arson scheme caught on camera

Clermont County arson investigation

CLERMONT COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - A man turned himself in after developing an “elaborate” scheme to have his own home set on fire, according to the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office.

A grand jury issued an indictment for 43-year-old Paul Hicks on two counts of aggravated arson, insurance fraud and three counts of perjury.

Officials said on June 15, 2015, two masked individuals entered the home owned by Hicks on Stumpy Lane, stole property, and poured gasoline throughout the residence before igniting it. The incident was caught on video by a home surveillance system.

The sheriff’s office said initially Hicks told detectives that his ex-girlfriend was seen in the video, but their investigation revealed that Hicks had the intention of framing his ex-girlfriend to gain custody of their child and collect insurance money.

On Jan. 16, 2019, Hicks turned himself in at the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office and was taken into custody without incident.

He was released on Jan. 17 on an own recognizance bond.

The Clermont County Sheriff’s Office said Hicks is believed to be the organizer behind the incident.

The clerk said he does face a $50,000 bond if he doesn’t check in with probation every week. He also may not consume alcohol and have no contact with the victim.

Paul Hicks (Clermont County Sheriff's Office)
Paul Hicks (Clermont County Sheriff's Office)

The sheriff’s office is also looking to identify other individuals involved in the arson.

A new court date for Hicks has not yet been set.

The investigation remains ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Unit at 513-732-7545.

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