Man admits conspiring to stage accidents for cash, pleads guilty to federal charges

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NEW ORLEANS — United States Attorney Peter Strasser announced the latest guilty plea in an alleged scheme that used staged accidents to defraud insurance companies.

Thursday Strasser announced a guilty plea from 48-year-old Damian Labeaud of Metairie. According to federal prosecutors, Labeaud and six co-conspirators staged multiple accidents over a period of years, including two in June 2017.

Prosecutors say the six co-conspirators confessed to the scheme earlier this year and pleaded guilty.

According to prosecutors, the scene involved staging accidents with 18-wheeler trucks to defraud insurance and trucking companies. The co-conspirators each had jobs like “spotter” or “slammer.”
Prosecutors say Labeaud participated in at least 40 staged accidents for one attorney who is identified only as “Attorney A” in court documents. Labeaud would receive $1,000 for each passenger involved in the crashes who he steered to the attorney for representation.

Prosecutors say the other co-conspirators collected $43,000 for their hands in the scheme.

Labeaud is scheduled for sentencing on November 19. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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