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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 28, 2022

Morgan City Man Pleads Guilty in Staged Automobile Collision Scheme

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA United States Attorney Duane A. Evans announced today that DAVID BROWN (“BROWN”), age 50, of Morgan City, pled guilty on April 27, 2022 to Count One (1) of his indictment, charging him with Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.    By 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 of up to $250,000.00, as well as a mandatory special assessment fee of $100.00. Today’s guilty plea brings the total number of defendants convicted in Operation Sideswipe to 37.

According to court documents, BROWN 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, BROWN falsely informed NOPD officers at the scene that he had been driving the vehicle and that the tractor-trailer was at fault. BROWN also filed a fraudulent lawsuit and lied in a deposition.  This scheme caused the insurance company for the tractor-trailer to pay over $140,000.00 in settlement funds for the May 11, 2017 collision.  The Honorable Jane Triche Milazzo set sentencing in this matter for July 27, 2022.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office would like to acknowledge the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Louisiana State Police, and the Metropolitan Crime Commission 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.

Updated April 28, 2022