On Tuesday, May 14, 2013, a fire occurred at Budd-Z’s, a bowling alley and bar in Sheldon, Iowa. The bowling alley’s owner, Kristina Manasil, sought insurance proceeds of nearly $1,400,000. Budd-Z’s insurance carrier retained Grefe & Sidney to assist in its investigation of the fire claim and provide a recommendation as to whether coverage existed for the claim. After taking testimony and careful study of forensic and other physical evidence, Attorneys Adam Zenor and Joe Moser believed the evidence showed Manasil caused or procured the fire, made material misrepresentations, and engaged in willful concealment. Consistent with Zenor and Moser’s recommendation, Manasil’s claim for insurance proceeds was denied
Based in part on Zenor and Moser’s analysis and as a result of their collaboration with authorities, Manasil was subsequently charged with First Degree Arson and Insurance Fraud. At trial, Manasil’s former boyfriend, Adam Sickles, testified that Manasil had instructed him and her former employees to start the fire. Manasil’s former employees also testified against Manasil, admitting she promised them a portion of the insurance proceeds. On Wednesday, May 6, 2015, nearly two years after the fire, an Iowa jury found Manasil guilty of both counts.
Manasil faces a possible sentence of 25 years in prison.