Sentencing hearings set in Hereford House fire

A federal judge has scheduled sentencing hearings for three men convicted in the 2008 arson that destroyed the landmark Hereford House restaurant in the Crossroads Arts District.

Rodney J. Anderson, Vincent Pisciotta and Mark Sorrentino will be sentenced on Sept. 9, almost a year after jurors convicted them of conspiracy, arson and using fire to commit a federal crime. Anderson also was convicted of mail fraud.

All three men face substantial prison time. A federal arson conviction carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years, while using fire to commit a federal crime carries a minimum 10-year sentence to run consecutively to any other sentence imposed.

Prosecutors contended at the trial that competition from the Power & Light District threatened the Hereford House, which opened in 1957. Deep in personal debt, restaurateur Anderson conspired with Pisciotta and Sorrentino to burn the business and get insurance money to allow him to remodel and rebuild, prosecutors alleged.