Defendants from Orleans and Jefferson parishes plead guilty to conspiracy to stage automobile accidents to defraud insurance and trucking companies – L’Observateur
NEW ORLEANS – US Attorney Duane A. Evans announced today that Doniesha Gibson (“Gibson”), 29, of New Orleans, Louisiana and Erica Lee Thompson (“Erica Lee”), 46, of Harvey, Louisiana, is found guilty today pleads to Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, resulting from staged car accidents with semi-trailers that occurred in New- Orleans before Judge Sarah S. Vance of the United States District Court.
According to today’s guilty pleas, Gibson and Erica Lee, along with their co-conspirators and others, from around 2015 and until today, conspired to commit wire fraud in the part of accidents organized with Cornelius Garrison, two of which took place on October 15, 2015 and September 6, 2017. Today’s guilty pleas bring to twenty-two (22) the total number of accused convicted in the part of “Operation Sideswipe”.
Today, Gibson admitted to being a passenger in a staged accident on October 15, 2015. On that day, her former co-accused intentionally drove a 2014 Gibson-owned Dodge Avenger on a Hotard bus while traveling on the road. ‘I-10 near the flyover. from I-510. Gibson retained the services of a lawyer and subsequently filed a claim for damages. The total settlement for the Hotard bus crash was approximately $ 677,500.
Erica Lee admitted that on September 6, 2017, on I-10 near the Almonaster exit, she was a passenger in Lee’s 2015 RAV4 driven by their former co-accused, when he intentionally collided with a semi – trailer owned by Averitt Express. . Erica Lee retained the services of a lawyer and filed a claim for damages. The total settlement for the Averitt accident was $ 30,000.
In total, the victim trucking, bus and insurance companies paid approximately $ 707,500 for these two fraudulent claims orchestrated by the defendants and others.
Gibson and Erica Lee face a maximum sentence of five (5) years in prison. Upon release from prison, each accused also faces a supervised release sentence of up to (3) three years, and / or a fine of $ 250,000 or the greater of double the gross gain for each defendant or double. of the gross loss for anyone under Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. Sentencing in this case is scheduled for November 3, 2021, before United States District Judge Sarah S. Vance.
The United States Attorney’s Office also wishes to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Louisiana State Police, and the Metropolitan Crime Commission for their assistance in this matter. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant US Attorney Brian M. Klebba, Head of the Financial Crimes Unit; US Assistant Prosecutor Edward J. Rivera; US Deputy Prosecutor Shirin Hakimzadeh; and the Assistant United States Attorney, Maria Carboni.