CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A New Mexico man has pleaded not guilty to felony charges including arson and conspiracy in connection with the 2010 fire that heavily damaged a landmark hotel in Cheyenne.
U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal on Friday set bond at $1 million cash for 51-year-old Ajay Jariwala, of Albuquerque.
A federal indictment charges Jariwala was an officer in the company that bought the Hitching Post Inn in Cheyenne for just over $1 million in 2010. The indictment says Jariwala took out a $13.6 million insurance policy on the hotel before the fire.
The indictment charges that Jariwala hired another New Mexico man to torch the building for insurance money. The insurance company has refused to pay on the policy, saying the fire was arson.
Freudenthal has set trial for April 15.