A man who investigators say hired someone to burn down a tavern he owned in Hayward has been found guilty in federal court of arson and mail fraud.
Phillip Lathrop owned and operated Players Sports Bar and Grill in Hayward. Investigators said that in 2003, Lathrop hired a person to burn down the bar in exchange for $5,000 and some cocaine. He then defrauded more than $250,000 from his insurance company.
Lathrop, 39, is scheduled for sentencing on May 8. He faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 5 years in prison for the arson and a maximum penalty of 20 years for each of the 4 mail fraud counts.