Kansas City, Mo. The co-owner of a popular Kansas City steakhouse that was destroyed by fire is facing federal arson charges.
A grand jury returned a four-count indictment Tuesday against 57-year-old Rodney Anderson, who was co-owner of the downtown Hereford House and the company that managed it.
An explosion and fire destroyed the landmark restaurant in October 2008. Federal prosecutors allege that Anderson hired someone to start the fire, then submitted insurance claims worth roughly $2.5 million.
Anderson is charged with arson, conspiracy to commit arson, mail fraud and using fire to commit a federal felony.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges Tuesday and was released without bond.
Anderson faces up to 55 years in prison if convicted.
The Hereford House website lists locations in Shawnee and Leawood, Kan., Kansas City and Independence, as well as Pierpont’s at Union Station.
The restaurant formerly operated in Lawrence as both a Hereford House and the HH Bar and Grill, both at 4931 W. Sixth St.