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Federal agents are accusing a Winston-Salem lawyer, his insurance agent and three other men of trying to burn down a rental house in Forsyth County in June to collect $47,000 in insurance payments.

Affidavits filed by Douglas Wenner of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms say that William Nelson tried to have a house burned for profit.The affidavits say that Nelson, a partner in the law firm of Nelson Boyles & Niblock, owned the house and hired three people to burn it. Nelson's insurance agent - Michael Tuttle - is accused of conspiring with Nelson.

The affidavits, which sought warrants to search Nelson's and Tuttle's offices, were filed Tuesday in federal court in Greensboro.

Tuttle said the accusations against him are false.

``This agent doesn't deceive anybody,' he said. ``I don't have anything to hide. They have nothing, and I have done nothing wrong.'

Efforts to reach Nelson were unsuccessful.

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