Following a nearly two-year investigation, six south Louisiana residents were arrested for their involvement in an insurance fraud scheme, according to the State Police. Five additional suspects are still wanted.
In 2013, an insurance company told the State Police fraud unit about a suspected “staged crash ring” that had been operating for four years in the New Orleans area. Police said investigations showed 16 people had participated in the staged crashes between 2011 and May 2015.
In July, with help from the 41st Judicial District Attorney’s Office, a grand jury investigation was launched.
State Police said Morgan City resident Chad Lightfoot, 43, often using a false identity, orchestrated four of the known crashes in Orleans Parish to commit insurance fraud.
On July 30, the grand jury returned indictments against 11 individuals on multiple counts of insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud. Lightfoot also was indicted on multiple counts of perjury and a count of identity theft.
Insurance agency representatives said more than $150,000 was fraudulently paid after a 2011 crash. They said later claims were denied once the connection between the parties was discovered and the fraud was detected.
As a result of the investigation, the following were arrested: Lightfoot; Irvin Escort, 35, of Scott; Cerrido Arias, 25, of New Orleans; Alex Jones, 30, of New Orleans; Dantrell Garrett Jr., 26, of Morgan City; and Denel Osburn, 41, of LaPlace.
The following are still wanted: Alex Young, 28, of New Orleans; Adrian Gibbs, 40, of New Iberia Parish; Raymond Saffrhan, 36, of New Orleans; Leslie Bienemy, 34, of Violet; and Lachicka Edwards, 29, of New Orleans.