Ex-IHOP employee sentenced for setting fire to restaurant

TOLEDO — A former IHOP employee who admitted to setting fire to the Findlay restaurant in 2008 was sentenced to 41 months in prison earlier this week.
The Toledo Blade reported Jose Leon-Gonzalez pleaded guilty to arson in U.S. District Court in Toledo, while charges of alien harboring and use of fire or explosive to commit a felony were dropped as part of a plea agreement. Judge David Katz also ordered Leon-Gonzalez to pay nearly $1.4 million in restitution. That figure will be shared with any other co-defendant convicted in the arson case.
According to federal prosecutors, Leon-Gonzalez set the fire at the direction of IHOP franchisee Tarek Elkafrawi in order to file a fraudulent insurance claim, the newspaper reported.
Elkafrawi and 17 others were indicted in 2012 on numerous federal charges, including money laundering, identity theft and alien harboring.
The Findlay IHOP, which opened briefly after the fire, has been closed since the indictments were issued.

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