- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

DEDHAM, Mass. (AP) - A millionaire developer and restaurant owner has been charged with masterminding the arson of an under-construction home so he could collect the insurance money.

Alan Kaplan, of Brookline, was granted $10,000 bail and ordered to surrender his passport after pleading not guilty Tuesday in Norfolk Superior Court to charges including arson and arson for insurance fraud.

Authorities say the 50-year-old Kaplan persuaded a local handyman to set fire to the failed development in July 2013 so he could collect $800,000 in insurance money. Kaplan owns restaurants in Brookline and Lowell and several developments.

The handyman, who was injured in the fire, faces similar charges.

Kaplan’s lawyer, Max Stern, says his client is innocent and the entire case against him is based on the word of the handyman.

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