Additional Defendant Pleads Guilty in Staged Automobile Collision Scheme
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – United States Attorney Duane A. Evans announced today that LARRY PICOU (“PICOU”), age 56, of Gibson, La.; has agreed to plead guilty on September 28, 2022 to count one (1) in his indictment, charging him with Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. In exchange, the government has agreed to dismiss two counts of Mail Fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1341 and 2. In pleading guilty to count 1, the defendant faces a maximum penalty of five (5) years’ imprisonment; a term of supervised release of up to three (3) years; and a fine up to $250,000.00, as well as a mandatory special assessment fee of $100.00.
According to court documents, PICOU falsely claimed that he was a passenger in a car that was struck by a tractor-trailer on May 11, 2017. In fact, the defendant conspired with Damian Labeaud (“Labeaud”), Mario Solomon (“Solomon”), and others to intentionally collide with a tractor-trailer in the area of Chef Menteur Highway and Downman Road in New Orleans. After the intentional collision, PICOU and his co-conspirators made a false police report, lied in depositions, and filed fraudulent lawsuits claiming that the tractor-trailer was at fault. Through this scheme, PICOU and his co-conspirators caused the insurance company for the tractor-trailer to pay over $140,000.00 in settlement funds. The Honorable Jane Triche Milazzo set sentencing in this matter for January 18, 2023.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office would like to acknowledge the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation with this matter. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria M. Carboni; Brian M. Klebba, Chief of the Financial Crimes Unit; Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Rivera; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon S. Long.