Edmonds woman sentenced for wire fraud related to 2018 arson fire at her Hwy 99 business

An Edmonds business owner was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Seattle to five years of probation, with one year of house arrest, for wire fraud related to the April 30, 2018, fire at her Highway 99 business, CJN Miniatures & More, a dollhouse, miniatures, collectibles and antiques shop.

Connie Bigelow, 54, set the fire to try to collect insurance money to solve her financial troubles. At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik said he was opting for home confinement because of the COVID pandemic.

According to records filed in the case, Bigelow set fire to her business to collect insurance money as the store was struggling to make enough money to pay the rent.  Bigelow moved her business, CJN Miniatures LLC, into the building at 23030 Highway 99, in Edmonds in September 2017. The store maintained an inventory of miniatures and collectables for sale, consigned items on behalf of other individuals, and rented out space to other vendors. Between October 2017 and April 2018, the business fell behind in rental payments and payments to consigners.

Bigelow carried an insurance policy with State Farm Fire and Casualty Company that covered up to $100,000 in loss of business personal property, as well as loss of income. The policy did not cover loss arising from arson.

Bigelow set the fire underneath three Thomas Kinkade paintings worth thousands of dollars. In May 2018, Bigelow initiated a claim to State Farm for the losses arising from the fire. On May 3, 2018, Bigelow communicated with the insurance agent via email as part of the wire fraud scheme.She made false statements to law enforcement, as well as representatives of State Farm as part of the scheme to defraud.

Prosecutors had asked for a year in prison, citing the inherent danger of the fire and the losses to the community. Pleading guilty in September 2021, Bigelow agreed to make full restitution. Currently the restitution is over $200,000 to the building owners and some 50 victims who lost consigned items in the fire.

Bigelow has since relocated her business at 610 5th Ave. S., Suite D, in downtown Edmonds.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), along with the Snohomish County Fire Marshals’ Office.

 

3 Replies to “Edmonds woman sentenced for wire fraud related to 2018 arson fire at her Hwy 99 business”

  1. Wow , what a story this is! Odd too. I mean if you are so desperate that you have to burn your business and destroy others property in the process but yet you can afford 200 grand in restitution to other victims of this ARSON that is odd to me. AND now this person can afford to have a store in the Bowl? An arsonist convicted and should have been imprisoned, but allowed home confinement for a year due to covid ?? Ok. What if this business goes bad too? I don’t understand how house arrest and opening a new business work? Answers please. I am sorry but I wouldn’t shop in her store or trust her with my products to sell on consignment. I mean this is serious stuff a grown woman Arson…

    Ignored

    1. I walked by her Bowl location today & wonder if it’s even viable. I don’t intend to shop there IF it is even open. The whole episode is strange.

      Ignored

  2. This sentence is a total joke and our whole legal system needs to be revisited. You can order restitution but this is not enforced by anyone. If she moves out of the state what happens then? Criminals get away with stealing,forgery,arson and all sorts of criminal offenses on a daily basis. She should be but in jail instead she is allowed to start another business. Victims have little recourse and our whole society should be ashamed about how this was handled!

    Ignored

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.