L.A. Arsonist and
accused of multiple crimes.
He is believed to be responsible for a string of more than 50 fires set off in the area that left behind torched buildings and cars, resulting in an estimate $3 million in damages.
Burkhart was charged Wednesday with 37 counts of arson, 28 counts of arson and nine counts of arson of an inhabited structure.
If convicted, Harry Burkhart faces a heavy prison sentence.
District Attorney Steve Cooley told NBC news: "Arson of an inhabited structure is a violent felony punishable by state prison, not a state prison offense punishable by county jail."
It is believed that a fraud case involving Dorthee Burkhart, the mother of Harry Burkhart, led to his arrest. She faced 19 counts of fraud including accusations that she bailed out on a breast augmentation surgery bill in Frankfurt, Germany.
His mother was arrested December 28, 2011 on a provisional arrest warrant requested by German authorities. Burkhart was at his mother’s court hearing, where he broke out in a slur of curse words and anti-American comments.
Dorthee Burkhart's legal problems date back to at least 2000, where she committed fraud with apartments in Frankfurt where she failed to return security deposits for the apartments she rented. German officials claim since then that she engaged in several other counts of fraud along with her failure to pay nearly $10,000 in breast surgery. She was arrested in 2007 and taken to a Frankfurt hospital for cardiac problems. She took advantage of the moment when guards took off her handcuffs and allowed her to use the restroom to escape through a window.
The mother-son duo then moved to Canada, where they applied for refugee status saying they would be tortured and killed if they were sent back to Germany reports The Vancouver Sun. She also told immigration officials that fascist groups were trying to kill them in Germany because of their Russian roots.
During a hearing last week, she denied the charges against her and suggested Nazis, not her son, were responsible for the recent outburst of fires in the LA county.
“One little mentally ill child cannot do fire like this,” she said in broken English in court.
Police say the investigation is ongoing. "The investigation of the 52 fires believed connected to this defendant is not over," said Cooley. "Appropriate action will be taken as further evidence is presented for our review."