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Press Release

One More Individual Sentenced for Conspiring to Stage Automobile Accidents to Defraud Insurance and Trucking Companies

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA TROY SMITH (“SMITH”), age 58, of Houma, Louisiana, was sentenced on March 8, 2023 for Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, arising out of staged automobile accidents with tractor-trailers occurring in New Orleans, announced United States Attorney Duane A. Evans.

According to court documents, on May 17, 2020, SMITH, along with participants Damian Labeaud (“Labeaud”), Bernell Gale (“Gale”), Marvel Francois (“Francois”), and another passenger, participated in a staged accident in the vicinity of Louisa Street and Chickasaw Street. Labeaud fled the scene after intentionally colliding with a tractor trailer. Francois falsely reported to the NOPD that she had been driving and that the tractor-trailer had struck her vehicle.

United States District Judge Lance M. Africk sentenced SMITH to 6 months imprisonment, upon release from imprisonment, 3 years supervised release, and payment of a $100 mandatory special assessment fee.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office would also like to acknowledge the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Louisiana State Police, and the Metropolitan Crime Commission with this matter. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba, Chief of the Financial Crimes Unit; Assistant U.S. Attorneys Edward Rivera, Maria Carboni and Brandon Long, also of the Financial Crimes Unit.


Shane M. Jones

Public Information Officer

United States Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

United States Department of Justice

Updated March 15, 2023

Financial Fraud