Melbourne Police Sergeant Charged With Fraud, Arson
By Space Coast Daily // March 18, 2014
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested Melbourne Police Sergeant Brian Wical on charges of arson, false and fraudulent insurance claim, burning to defraud the insurer and false report to a law enforcement authority.
The case began when Wical, 38, reported his personal 2008 Stratas boat, valued at $40,000, stolen from his home in Palm Bay on Sept. 29.
The FDLE investigation began in January after receiving information that Wical may have committing insurance fraud.
Police investigators believe Wical and James Roy Hartman, a former Melbourne police officer, conspired to burn the boat and after destroying it. FDLE Agents also arrested Hartman, 40, and was charged with arson and burning to defraud the insurer.
According to authorities, Wical collected more than $45,000 on an insurance claim.
Both Wical and Hartman surrendered today and were booked into the Brevard County Jail. They were then released on their own recognizance.
“Sgt. Brian Wical’s employment status with the Melbourne Police Department has not changed at this time,” said Melbourne Police Chief Steve Mimbs in an official statement. “He currently remains on administrative leave with pay. Now that the criminal investigation that was conducted by FDLE is complete, and has resulted in arrest, a full and expeditious review of that investigation’s findings will occur before a determination can be made regarding any changes in Sgt. Wical’s current status.”
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