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Report: Cornelius man solicited FBI agent to commit arson

This story originally ran in the Observer on March 22, 2013

A Cornelius man faces a federal criminal charge after he allegedly solicited an undercover FBI agent to burn down the home of a South Carolina private investigator, court records show.

Zulfiqar Ali Kacho, 39, offered the undercover agent $1,000 to burn down the house of the private investigator – who Kacho said was responsible for “taking a girl away from him,” according to documents filed March 15 in federal court.

A federal grand jury indicted Kacho on one count of solicitation to commit a crime of violence and on Thursday a judge denied Kacho’s bond.

The criminal complaint said FBI agents were tipped off to Kacho’s alleged plans on March 4 when an acquaintance of Kacho’s notified agents at the FBI’s Charlotte Division that the man was looking to pay someone to “ruin the life” of the South Carolina private investigator.

That acquaintance then introduced an undercover agent to Kacho as someone who was willing to commit the arson.

During a March 8 meeting, Kacho provided the undercover agent with pictures of the intended victim’s house in Bluffton, S.C., court records show. Kacho asked the agent to burn the house to the ground using gas or petroleum in the house’s crawl space, according to the documents.

About a week later, court documents stated Kacho paid the FBI agent a $100 installment to go forward with the crime.

Kacho is being held in the Mecklenburg County jail.

Steele: 704-358-5067 on Twitter: @steelecs
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