Three men in Los Angeles are facing charges for allegedly staging car accidents as part of a fraudulent scheme to claim money from insurance companies.
L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón announced on Monday that charges have been filed against Ausencio Gomez, 46, Eduardo Retana, 25, and Victor Valle-Diaz, 55.
According to the District Attorney’s office, between January 15, 2020 and September 18, 2020, the three men allegedly intentionally caused 15 accidents on L.A. County freeways, resulting in 21 victims, some of whom suffered serious injuries.
As part of their elaborate scheme, the trio also allegedly defrauded insurance companies for nearly $330,000 in payouts.
Read more: California car insurance fraud ring busted
“Purposefully causing automobile collisions can cause grave injuries or even death for the innocent victims of an automobile insurance scheme,” Gascón said in a statement announcing the charges.
Retana was charged with 11 counts of assault with a deadly weapon and 10 counts of insurance fraud, Gomez with 10 counts of assault with a deadly weapon and nine counts of insurance fraud, and Valle-Diaz with eight counts of assault with a deadly weapon and four counts of insurance fraud.
The case is being investigated by the California Department of Insurance.
The men are scheduled for arraignment on August 31 in Department S of the L.A. County Superior Court in San Fernando.