$400 Million Arson Fine

Arsonist Ordered to Pay $400M for Nuclear Submarine Fire

A 25-year-old man from Maine has been sentenced to 17 years in prison and ordered to pay $400 million in restitution after admitting to setting two fires in and around the nuclear submarine USS Miami.

Casey James Fury, a civilian painter and sandblaster, pled guilty to two counts of arson. He said he set the fires on May 23 and June 16 while the vessel was being renovated at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine because he was suffering from extreme anxiety and depression and wanted to go home from work.

The first fire was set inside a cabin aboard the Los Angeles-class attack submarine, where Fury lit a bag of cotton rags. It took 100 firefighters around 12 hours to control the blaze, which caused about $450 million of damage, according to The Guardian. Seven people, including five firefighters, were injured. The second fire, started beneath the submarine, caused relatively little damage but led to Fury's arrest.

At the sentencing, the judge cited Fury's emotional condition and his lack of previous convictions as reasons for sparing him from a life sentence. But the damage has left a question mark over the USS Miami's future. Repairs have been postponed pending US Navy budget reviews.

Restitution

The order for Fury to pay $400 million in restitution is a gains-based recovery; he will have to pay the US Navy any money he makes as a result of profiting from the crime. This might include selling his rights to a movie or writing a book about the incidents. In this case, officials do not expect to see that $400 million, making that aspect of the sentence appear to be little more than a token judgment.

The restitution claim is quite possibly the biggest relating to a fire in recent US history. Two cousins who accidentally started Arizona's biggest ever wildfire, causing an estimated $109 million of damage, were ordered to pay the comparatively paltry sum of roughly $3.7 million. Source: IFSEC


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