Omaha Men Plead Guilty in Arson for Hire Insurance Fraud Scheme

(Des Moines) The Iowa Insurance Division says Peere M. Shackelford, age 35, of Omaha, Nebraska, pled guilty in Pottawattamie County District Court on October 31, 2019, to Conspiracy to Commit Insurance Fraud (Class D Felony).  As part of Shackelford’s plea agreement, the charges of Arson 2nd Degree and Conspiracy to Commit a Non-Forcible Felony were dismissed. Shackelford received a 5 year deferred prison sentence, a suspended $750 civil penalty, and was placed on probation for one year.

In January 2019, Shackelford’s co-conspirator, William Odinas, age 36, of Omaha, NE, accepted a plea deal to a lesser charge of Arson 3rd Degree (Aggravated Misdemeanor) for his role in the scheme.  Odinas was originally charged with Arson 2nd Degree (C Felony) and Conspiracy to Commit a Non-Forcible Felony (Class D Felony). Odinas was sentenced to 74 days of incarceration with full credit for time served.  Odinas received a $625.00 fine.

The guilty pleas by Shackelford and Odinas stem from a joint investigation completed by the Council Bluffs Fire Department and the Iowa Insurance Division’s Fraud Bureau beginning in October of 2018.  The investigation determined that after Shackelford’s 2005 BMW became inoperable, Shackelford left the vehicle at a dealership in Council Bluffs. After allowing the vehicle to sit unrepaired for several months, Shackelford hired Odinas to set the car on fire, agreeing to pay him with insurance proceeds for committing the arson.

On the evening of the arson, Odinas was seen on surveillance video entering Shackelford’s vehicle and setting it on fire.  Days later, Shackelford filed an insurance claim on the totaled vehicle. Shackelford’s insurance claim of $6,818.63 was eventually denied.