Real Housewives of New Jersey

'Real Housewives' dad arrested for arson, insurance fraud

Aug. 26, 2011 at 11:29 AM ET

Parker County Texas /

“Real Housewives of New Jersey” fans will remember John Madison “Matt” Holmes as the father of troubled 20-year-old Ashley. On the show, Matt recently made an appearance alongside ex Jacqueline Laurita to work on a bad-attitude intervention for Ashley. But as it turns out, the dad had bigger problems than his daughter’s disrespectful ways. Much bigger.

Radar Online reports that in June, Matt was arrested in Texas on charges of arson, insurance fraud and money laundering, and his current wife, Jodi Sue Holmes, was brought in on money laundering charges.

The arrests came after a fire burned down the couple’s two-story home in March. Holmes told a fire marshal’s investigator that he’d been to the property earlier, but that claim was disputed by what the Weatherford Democrat referred to as “a credible witness, who said Holmes started the fire.

Matt and Jodi received $429,000 in insurance money. As for what happened to the cash, the newspaper reports that a complaint filed by Parker County fire marshall’s investigator, Ken Dabbs, revealed that among other purchases, it went toward plastic surgery and a $40,000 diamond ring for Jodi.

Both Matt and Jodi were released on bond shortly after their arrests.

Matt’s reality star daughter, Ashley, recently had something to say about the legal drama.

“FYI -- my parents have NOT been indicted,” Ashley tweeted about her father and stepmother’s legal woes. “This whole thing was started by a disgruntled employee..they are INNOCENT & that's all I have to say.”

For now. While Ashley was kicked out of her mom’s house on last week’s episode, she’s still a regular on “Housewives,” so her private life rarely stays private for long.

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