Minnesota bar owner sent to federal prison for arson


St. Cloud, MN (KROC-AM News) – The owner of what was a well-known central Minnesota bar has been sentenced to nearly 6 years in prison for setting the business on fire.

Andrew Welsh, 43, previously pleaded guilty to a federal arson charge for setting the fire in hopes of collecting an insurance policy. He is also ordered to pay more than $3 million in restitution.

Photo: Conner Dols

Photo: Conner Dols

Welsh was the owner of the Press Bar and Parlor in St. Cloud. It was a popular facility for students attending nearby St. Cloud State University. The arson of February 17, 2020 completely destroyed the building. Federal prosecutors said Welsh started the fire after pouring gasoline into his basement office.

Photo: Kyle Schröder

Photo: Kyle Schröder

Court records indicate that Welsh then submitted an insurance claim for losses associated with the fire and falsely asserted that “the loss did not arise from any act, design or acquisition” on his part.

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