Bronx merchant charged in arson plot

A Bronx entrepreneur was charged Tuesday in connection with an arson-for-hire plot that destroyed three businesses on Bainbridge Avenue.

Police say Mohammed Abdul Quadir, the owner of the American Diner on East 204th Street, paid Christopher Gooding to set his business on fire in December in hopes of getting a payout on insurance. Quadir's neighbors say he was in serious debt.

The fire ended up destroying three businesses and causing $3.5 million in damages.

Both Quadir and Gooding are being charged with arson, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief. Quadir is also facing several counts of insurance fraud, attempted grand larceny and conspiracy.

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