May 20, 2024

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Seven More Charged in Staged Automobile Collision Scheme | USAO-EDLA

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA United States Attorney Duane A. Evans not too long ago unsealed the indictment of FLORENCE RANDLE (“RANDLE”), age 70, of Gibson STACIE WHEATEN (“WHEATEN”), age 50, of Atlanta JOSEPH BREWTON (“BREWTON”), age 56, of Houma DAVID BROWN (“BROWN”), age 50, of Morgan Town GILDA HENDERSON (HENDERSON), age 69, of Morgan City LATRELL JOHNSON (“JOHNSON”), age 30, of New Orleans and LARRY PICOU (“PICOU”), age 56, of Gibson.  The indictment was handed down by a federal grand jury on February 3, 2022 and unsealed after the arrests of BROWN and PICOU.  This indictment brings the overall selection of defendants charged in the federal probe into the staging of mishaps with tractor-trailers to 47. 

All 7 defendants have been billed in a 10-rely federal indictment.  All of the defendants ended up charged in Depend 1 with Conspiracy to Dedicate Mail Fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Segment 371.  BREWTON was charged in Counts 2-7 with Mail Fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1341 and 2.  BROWN, HENDERSON, JOHNSON, and PICOU had been billed in Counts 5 and 6 with Mail Fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1341 and 2.  RANDLE and WHEATEN ended up billed in Counts 7 by way of 10, which cost Mail Fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1341 and 2.

If convicted, the defendants confront a optimum penalty of five (5) decades for Rely 1 and 20 (20) yrs as to just about every of the Mail Fraud counts.  Upon their release from prison, every single defendant can be positioned on a phrase of supervised release for up to five (5) several years and fined up to $250,000.00 for each rely.  A necessary unique evaluation charge of $100 per rely is also applicable.

According to courtroom files, BREWTON, RANDLE, and WHEATEN served as intermediaries who directed travellers to participate in staged vehicle mishaps.  BREWTON assisted to prepare collisions that took put on March 27, 2017 and Could 11, 2017.  RANDLE and WHEATEN served to coordinate collisions on May perhaps 17, 2017 and June 5, 2017.

 The indictment alleges that BROWN, HENDERSON, JOHNSON, and PICOU falsely claimed that they ended up travellers in a car or truck that was struck by a tractor-trailer on Might 11, 2017.  In point, the defendants conspired with BREWTON, Damian Labeaud (“Labeaud”), Mario Solomon (“Solomon”), and other folks to deliberately collide with a tractor-trailer in the area of Chef Menteur Freeway and Downman Highway in New Orleans.  After the intentional collision, BROWN, HENDERSON, JOHNSON, and PICOU manufactured a wrong law enforcement report, lied in depositions, and submitted fraudulent lawsuits claiming that the tractor-trailer was at fault.  This plan brought on the insurance plan company for the tractor-trailer to pay back about $140,000.00 in settlement funds. 

U.S. Lawyer Evans reiterated that the indictment is simply a cost and that the guilt of the defendants need to be established over and above a affordable question.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office environment would like to acknowledge the aid of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Louisiana State Law enforcement, and the Metropolitan Criminal offense Commission with this subject. The prosecution of this situation is currently being taken care of by Assistant U.S. Lawyer Maria M. Carboni Brian M. Klebba, Chief of the Economical Crimes Unit Assistant U.S. Lawyer Edward Rivera and Assistant U.S. Lawyer Brandon S. Extended.


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