Sixth Defendant Pleads Guilty in New Orleans Staged Accident Case

June 2, 2020

A New Orleans man has pleaded guilty in a case involving staged accidents between automobiles and tractor-trailers in that city, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced.

Mario Solomon, 48, a entered a guilty plea on May 28 to a charge of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud. The U.S. Attorney’s office said Solomon, his co-conspirators and others, beginning in approximately June 2017 and continuing through the present, conspired to commit wire fraud in connection with staged accidents, including two that occurred on June 6, 2017, and June 12, 2017.

Solomon’s co-defendants Larry Williams, Lucinda Thomas, Mary Wade, Judy Williams, and Dashontae Young on Jan. 30 admitted their participation in a scheme to stage automobile accidents in the New Orleans area in order to defraud insurance and trucking companies.

Solomon acted as a “spotter” for a codefendant in both the June 6 and the June 12 staged automobile accidents, according to his guilty plea. As a “spotter,”Solomon would follow his codefendant in a separate vehicle as his codefendant prepared to stage accidents with 18-wheeler tractor-trailers.

After the accidents, Solomon would pick up the codefendant after he exited the vehicle in which he had staged an accident. Solomon was paid in exchange for serving as a “spotter.”

According to his guilty plea, Solomon served as a spotter in at least two car accidents that his codefendant staged with 18-wheeler tractor-trailers. Solomon’s codefendants received a total of $43,000 as a result of the fraudulent lawsuits that were filed on their behalf.

Solomon faces a maximum sentence of five (5) years. Upon release from prison, Solomon also faces a term of supervised release up to (3) three years, and/or a fine of $250,000 or the greater of twice the gross gain to each defendant or twice the gross loss to any person. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 17, 2020 before U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office was assisted in the investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Louisiana State Police, and the Metropolitan Crime. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba, Supervisor of the Financial Crimes Unit; Assistant U.S. Attorney Shirin Hakimzadeh; Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Rivera; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Carboni.

Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office

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