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Trio Charged with Staging Auto Accidents in Insurance Fraud Ring

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced that a case was filed today against three people accused of staging automobile accidents on local freeways — some causing major injuries — in order to collect money from insurance companies.

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

Eduardo Retana (dob 3/7/1996), Ausencio Gomez (8/5/1975) and Victor Valle-Diaz (dob 5/14/1966) all of the city of Los Angeles were charged in felony case PA097083.

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.

Arraignment is scheduled for August 31 in Department S of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, San Fernando Branch.

Between January 15, 2020 and September 18, 2020, the defendants 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.

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

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