Frank Elliot made his first appearance in bond court, facing three felony counts, two for arson and another for insurance fraud.
The 26-year-old is accused of setting fire to his former Oak Park nightclub, The Velvet Rope, in June of last year. He said at the time that anti-gay slurs were written on the wall and that he suspected a hate crime.
In court today, the Cook County state’s attorney said Elliot set the fire to collect more than $100,000 in insurance money. Business at the club was slow and he was set to open a new business, The Bonsai Bar, in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood.
His attorney today said it just doesn’t add up. His client, he says has cooperated with the investigation.