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Parkersburg Landlord Charged With Insurance Fraud After Lowell House Fire
Posted on: 04/17/2014
By  Mike Cullums
Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks says an arson investigation in Lowell that began on July 12 reached its conclusion Wednesday night with the arrest of 48-year-old Jeffrey Dowler of Parkersburg on a fourth degree felony charge of insurance fraud.    
Sergeant Tim Anderson led the investigation into a suspicious fire at a house owned by Dowler at 207 Main Street in Lowell.  
The property had previously sustained water damage and Dowler’s insurance company issued him a check for about $22,400. Dowler then submitted another claim for $6,200 in additional construction and replacement costs, and was issued another check.  
During his investigation, however, Sgt. Anderson could find no evidence of the second set of funds having been used.  
Because the fire was suspected as arson, Dowler underwent an “examination under oath” with his insurance company. Mincks says that, during the exam, Dowler admitted committing insurance fraud by deceiving his insurance company to collect the replacement costs. Also, contractors whom Dowler said he hired to make repairs confirmed that they did no work at his Lowell property.  
With the assistance of Parkersburg Police, Dowler was arrested at his residence on Mathion Street on Parkersburg’s east end. At last report he was still in the North Central Regional Jail near West Union, pending extradition back to Ohio.  
The arson aspect of the case remains under investigation.
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