The Bountiful businessman and stockbroker whose home was firebombed late Monday night reported he's been receiving threats for several weeks and his car was vandalized a week ago.
The threats may be related to business losses or the filing in February of fraud and stock-manipulation charges against Michael Strand in federal court in Salt Lake City, according to investigators.Strand has denied the allegations that he manipulated the stock of two penny-stock companies, USA Medical Corp. and Global Oil and Gold Co., as charged in the indictments.
Strand's home at 1199 S. 15th East was hit by two firebombs, described by Bountiful police as Molotov cocktails, about 11:45 p.m. Monday. One was thrown through a basement bedroom window, igniting the room's carpet, drapes and furniture. The other landed harmlessly in the snow-covered front yard.
Police said Strand's daughter heard glass breaking and woke her parents, who found the fire smoldering. They snuffed it out with fire extinguishers and called the Bountiful Fire Department.
The firebombs were pop bottles filled with a flammable liquid, ignited by a wick stuck in the top and lit, commonly called Molotov cocktails, police said.
Sgt. Ira Beal of the Bountiful Police Department said his detectives and the federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms bureau are jointly investigating the attack.
Beal said the firebombing could have had a devastating, even fatal, outcome if the family hadn't awakened.
"If it (a Molotov cocktail) hits something, breaks and spatters, it's very effective," Beal said. "If family members were asleep, there's the possibility they could have been overcome."
Strand told police he's received numerous threats against himself, his family, home and office over the past month to six weeks, both by mail and telephone. The threats seek a large amount of money, he said.
The letters have Salt Lake City postmarks, said Strand, who reported his car was damaged Feb. 28 when someone threw rocks through the front and rear windows while it was parked in front of a Salt Lake club.