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Hornell woman faces arson, insurance fraud charges


A Hornell woman faces arson and insurance fraud charges stemming from an investigation of a Christmas Eve fire at her Hammondsport home.

Jaqueline D. Rohalla, 70, is charged third-degree arson, second-degree insurance fraud, second-degree forgery and second-degree reckless endangerment, according to New York State Police.

New York State Police in Bath, working in conjunction with the New York State Department of Financial Services Criminal Investigations, allege that Rohalla set fire to her Hammondsport residence in an effort to collect insurance money.

The fire was discovered by a rural mail carrier mid-day on Christmas Eve, according to a press release. Hammondsport volunteer firefighters were called, but the residence was destroyed.

Fire investigators were unable to determine a cause of the fire, according to state police. However, state Financial Services and Bath-based state police investigators began an investigation after Rohalla made several insurance claims. The police investigation alleges Rohalla made false claims relating to where she was living for several weeks following the fire and that she intentionally started the fire.

Rohalla was arraigned before town of Avoca Justice Patrick McMahon. She was released on her own recognizance and is scheduled to appear in court at a later date.

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