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Saratoga Winners owner faces probe

After the fire, questions began to arise on both the town and county level as to who owned the property. The previous owners, as recorded by the Town of Colonie and Albany County, were Stephen and Nickole Sutliff, according to Town of Colonie Assessor Ron Monfils.

But according to Colonie Police Detective Lt. John Van Alstyne, the Sutliffs provided police with information that showed that Abraham purchased the property and was the most recent owner.

According to Monfils, Abraham might not have recorded the deed he had for the property, which he said is not against the law.

"I don't think there's any requirement that you have to record the deed," said Monfils.

However, by not recording the deed, questions about the property and its owner become more difficult to track down.

Monfils also said that since the buildings on the property were still intact on March 1 of this year, the owner will be responsible for paying the $6,500 in taxes, Monfils estimated, on the property later this year. The 3.83 acres that make up the property was last assessed at $217,700, Monfils said.

According to Van Alstyne, "Forensics showed some kind of accelerant was used poured around the building." Van Alstyne said this accelerant was used most likely to burn the building purposely and not accidentally.

Van Alstyne also said that Abraham had allegedly burned the building in order to collect insurance money from an insurance policy he had opened upon taking ownership of the property.

Van Alstyne said he was aware of an investigation into a possible connection with a Saratoga County salon fire that occurred about a year ago. That investigation is being conducted outside the Colonie Police Department. Calls to the Saratoga County Dustrict Attorney's office and the Saratoga County Sheriff's office were not returned before press time.

Abraham was arrested on the three felony charges and transported to the Colonie police station. He was arraigned and sent to the Albany County Correctional Facility without bail.

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