Trio in Los Angeles charged with intentionally causing 15 car accidents in alleged insurance fraud ring

Three men in Los Angeles are accused of staging car accidents as part of an elaborate scheme to collect money from insurance companies.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón on Monday announced charges against Eduardo Retana, 25, Ausencio Gomez, 46, and Victor Valle-Diaz, 55.

"Purposefully causing automobile collisions can cause grave injuries or even death for the innocent victims of an automobile insurance scheme," Gascón said.

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.

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According to the District Attorney's office, between January 15, 2020 and September 18, 2020, the trio allegedly staged 15 accidents on Los Angeles County freeways with 21 victims, some of whom suffered severe injuries as a result. As part of a purported insurance fraud ring, they allegedly defrauded insurance companies of nearly $330,000.

All three defendants in the case are scheduled for August 31 in Department S of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, San Fernando Branch.

The case is being investigated by the California Department of Insurance.

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