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7 more charged in staging of New Orleans 18-wheeler accidents


Seven more have been indicted in a massive insurance fraud scheme based out of New Orleans, federal prosecutors announced on Monday. 

The seven people were charged were announced on Monday, September 13th and include Ashley McGowan, 35; Lertrice Johnson, 45; Davienque Johnson, 27; Herbert Allen, 36; Troylynn Brown, 34; Dion Ridley, 22; and Jarvis Brown, 29. All 40 involved in the scheme have been charged by Acting U.S. Attorney Duane Evans’ Eastern District of Louisiana office. 

According to Fox 8, the latest seven charged in this scheme are facing charges of  conspiracy to commit mail fraud and mail fraud. Each is facing up to five years in federal prison if convicted on the conspiracy count, and could face as many as 20 years in prison if found guilty of mail fraud. Each defendant is also facing $250,000 in fines per count if convicted. 

The seven defendants allegedly conspired with those charged in previous indictments who have already pleaded guilty. Together, they purposely caused semi truck crashes, and then falsified information about the driver and passengers involved in the collision. 

Authorities say that these schemes involved a “slammer,” who would intentionally collide with the big rig, and a “spotter” car that would quickly unload additional passengers so that they could claim injury from the crash while the motorist responsible for the crash would flee the scene. 

The defendants are also accused of lying during depositions investigating the collisions, and working with attorneys to secure financial settlements from the commercial carriers and their insurance companies.

The newest indictment was originally filed on Aug. 26, but was not announced until Monday due to Hurricane Ida.


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