Detectives stopped convicted arsonist Martin Pang just days before he was staged to steal nearly $20 million from firefighters, police officers and witnesses involved in a decades-old arson case. Pang is currently serving a prison sentence for the notorious 1995 warehouse blaze that killed four Seattle firefighters. Now, he could be facing more prison time for identity theft.
While behind bars, Pang was working with former Tulalip Casino worker Charles McClain. Pang was intending to take the money to live out his post-prison retirement in Brazil.
At a press conference today, Interim Police Chief Jim Pugel says Pang’s plan was egregious. “He said he was going to go directly to Brazil and live a luxury lifestyle. It’s very narcissistic and outrageous and a complete insult, to not only the firefighters but the community.”
The fraud plan was discovered by an undercover detective who infiltrated their crime ring.
Pang’s accomplice, McClain, gave the detective checks, social security information and IDs of their planned targets. They were also planning to siphon money from bank accounts of the Tulalip Casino.
Pang is currently serving a 35-year prison sentence for the warehouse fire. His release is set for 2018. But he’s now facing an additional 3 to 5 years for the fraud case.