MASTERMIND: Husband and wife jailed for $250K fraud, arson
IT was a cunning and 'mastermind' plot involving a mysterious house fire and suspicious bank transactions that saw a married Coast couple jailed.
'Til imprisonment did Fay Frances, 68, and Yugoslavia-born husband Zdravko Michael Pavlic-Sahin, 51, part - both were sent to jail in relation to fraud and arson at Maroochydore District Court today following a decade-old insurance scam.
Renewed police investigations of a 2009 house fire at an Old Maryborough Rd property in Gympie saw the pair charged in 2016, but it was Mr Pavlic-Sahin's wife that devised the diabolical plan.
Both were charged with one count each of fraud, dishonestly gaining benefit of over $30,000.
But only she was charged with arson.
The court was told the pair bought the property in 2008 and began renovations in 2009.
They ran into financial trouble and instead of turning a profit they quickly began to lose money.
A fleeting comment by Mrs Pavlic-Sahin's brother, to burn the house down and claim the insurance payout, planted the idea in her head.
She then organised her son, from a former relationship, to burn the house down for a $50,000 slice of the insurance payout.
She kept the plan a secret from her husband for three weeks before confessing.
He was then faced with two choices: dob in his wife of more than 20 years or go along with the fraud.
He chose the latter.
The fire did not burn the house to the ground but caused enough damage that insurance company CommInsure paid out just less than $240,000.
Police investigations revealed the Pavlic-Sahins initially transferred $5000 to their "hired arsonist" and then transferred the balance in a second transaction.
Defence barrister Simon Lewis said the pair had been working to pay the insurance company back.
He said the sale of the Gympie property, on the market for $220,000, plus an extra $50,000 the pair had in a trust account would cover the costs.
Judge Long described Mrs Pavlic-Sahin's plot as 'mastermind' and sentenced her to two years and eight months jail for the arson plus 20 months concurrent for the fraud.
She will serve three months behind bars before being released on three-years parole.
Mr Pavlic-Sahin was ordered to serve 18 months, to serve three months before being released on parole for two years.