U.S. Attorney and FBI announce additional indictment in ‘Operation Sideswipe’

State News

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Attorney and FBI announced an additional indictment in a major investigation involving insurance scams after staged collisions with 18-wheelers.

U.S. Attorney Peter Strasser announced an indictment against New Orleans lawyer Daniel Patrick Keating, who is accused conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud. Keating is accused of, among other things, offering $1,000 payments for drivers to stage crashes.

The investigation has resulted in five indictments against 33 defendants, including one defendant who has been killed. Eleven defendants have plead guilty so far.

The staged auto accidents between 18-wheelers and personal vehicles usually did not result in actual physical injuries or damage to either vehicle. Yet the personal injury lawsuits stemming from those crashes yielded millions in fraudulent payouts, Strasser said.

The propensity for insurance fraud and a generally corrupt legal system has lead to Louisiana becoming known as a “judicial hell hole,” Strasser said. These indictments will prove to be an important step toward reversing that reputation, he said.

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