Three charged with arson in Hartwick fire

By NEWSChannel 2 Staff

HARTWICK, N.Y. (WKTV) - Three men have been charged after authorities say the three worked together to burn down one of the men's residences in Hartwick.

According to the Otsego County Sheriff's Office, the arrests are the result of a month-long investigation by the Sheriff's Office, the NYS Department of Financial Services, Criminal Investigations Unit and the Otsego County Office of Emergency Services.

Authorities say that in the early morning hours on May 1, the Hartwick Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 2977 County Highway 11. When crews arrived on the scene, they requested additional crews from the Hartwick Fire Department, as well as Mt Vision Fire Department, Fly Creek Fire Department, Laurens Fire Department and the Cooperstown Fire Department. Crews battled the blaze for several hours and brought the fire under control without any other residences in the area sustaining fire damage.

An investigation determined that the fire was incendiary in nature, resulting in the arrests of Claud David "Flip" Folds, 63, of Hartwick; Jeremy James Folds, 20, of Hartwick; and Adelbert Cleaveland, 48, of Cooperstown.

Authorities say all three men worked together to burn down Clauds' unoccupied residence in order to collect insurance money in excess of $50,000.

All three have been charged with third-degree arson, second-degree insurance fraud and fourth-degree conspiracy were arraigned in front of a Hartwick Justice and sent to the Otsego County Correctional Facility on $50,000 bail. They each face up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the arson charge and an additional 15 years of incarceration if found guilty of the insurance fraud charge.

The three are scheduled to appear in Town of Hartwick Criminal Court on July 10 at 4 p.m.

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