Prosecutors have added four more indictments to the dozens already issued in a growing investigation into massive fraud scheme involving staged truck crashes in New Orleans.
On October 16, federal prosecutors in New Orleans indicted four individuals — Anthony Robinson, 66, Audrey Harris, 53, Jerry Schaffer, 65, and Keishira Robinson, 25 — on charges of mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
The four people named in the October 16 indictment have been accused of intentionally causing a crash that resulted in a multi-million dollar settlement against a trucking company.
That crash occurred on October 13, 2015, in the area of Alvar Street and France Road in New Orleans involving a C.R. England truck and a Michigan-based semi truck driver.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office describes the scheme:
…Co-Conspirator A, Harris, Schaffer, and K. Robinson intentionally collided with a tractor-trailer on October 13, 2015, in the area of Alvar Street and France Road in New Orleans. The Indictment alleges that Co-Conspirator A intentionally struck the 18 wheeler and then was picked up from the collision site by Damian Labeaud (“Labeaud”), who pled guilty to a previous indictment charging him and seven others with staging automobile accidents. A. Robinson, who had been in Labeaud’s vehicle, then got behind the wheel of his own vehicle to make it appear that he had been driving at the time of the staged accident.
As discussed in the Indictment, the passengers were referred to an attorney who paid Labeaud and Co-Conspirator A to stage accidents. All of the defendants were treated by doctors and healthcare providers at the direction of their attorneys, and A. Robinson, Harris, and Schaffer underwent surgeries. In total, the victim trucking and insurance company paid out approximately $4.7 million for the fraudulent claims associated with this staged accident.
Lebeaud, the alleged ringleader of the scheme, admitted to staging at least 40 semi truck crashes. Several lawyers currently named in court documents only as Attorneys A, B, C, D, and E have also been implicated in the scheme.
A total of 32 people have now been indicted in connection with the federal probe into the scheme.
In late September, Cornelius Garrison, 54, was fatally shot at a New Orleans apartment complex. Garrison had been indicted on charges related to the staged truck fraud scheme less than a week before and was believed to have been cooperating with investigators.