© Cape Breton Post - TC Media
The A-1 pizza shop on Charlotte Street in Sydney after a fire shut the business down.
Three years after receiving an award for being young business person of the year, a Sydney man was charged Monday with attempting to burn down his business.
Chad Pierre Youssef, 28, of Carmichael Drive and owner of A1 Pizza, is charged with three counts of arson involving his business outlet on Charlotte Street and two vehicles; three counts of conspiracy to commit arson, three counts of mischief in reporting to police that crimes occurred when no crime was committed, and single counts of attempted fraud and fraud.
The Charlotte Street outlet of A1 Pizza burned Feb. 11, a few months after opening. The building housing the pizza shop was not destroyed and damage inside was restricted to water and smoke as the building's sprinkler system did activate.
In 2011, the Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce named Youssef young business person of the year after he opening his first outlet on Kings Road.
He made a brief provincial court appearance Monday and was remanded until Wednesday for a bail hearing.
Youssef is one of four people charged in connection with the arsons after an investigation by Cape Breton Regional Police.
Bradley Shane Axworthy, 37, of Alexandra Street, is charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit arson involving two vehicles and the Charlotte Street business location for A1 Pizza.
The vehicles involved are a 2011 Chev Avalanche and a 2007 Cadillac Escalade which police report were owned by Youssef who reported them stolen. The burned out shells of the vehicles were later found. Those offences are alleged to have occurred in 2012 and 2013.
Axworthy made a brief court appearance Monday and was remanded to Wednesday for a bail hearing.
Also charged is 27-year-old Tyler (Taylor) Giroux of Membertou who is charged with arson, conspiracy to commit arson and two counts of breaching court orders. The offences are alleged to have occurred Feb. 11 in Sydney.
The final accused is Brian William Spinney, 29, of Brookside Street, Glace Bay, who is charged with arson, conspiracy to commit arson and four counts of breaching court orders. The offences are in relation to the Feb. 11 fire.
The provincial fire marshal's office referred the A1 Pizza investigation to police after deeming the February fire suspicious. Through the course of their investigation, police were able to connect the men to the February fire and further learned of their involvement with the vehicle fires. All of the accused were arrested over the weekend.