Operation Sideswipe Spotter Sentenced to Prison for Conspiring to Stage Automobile Accidents In Order to Defraud Insurance and Trucking Companies
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced MARIO SOLOMON (“SOLOMON”), age 48, of New Orleans, was sentenced today for Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, arising out of staged automobile accidents with tractor-trailers occurring in New Orleans.
According to documents filed in Federal Court, SOLOMON, along with his co-conspirators and others, beginning in approximately June 2017 and continuing through the present, conspired to commit wire fraud in connection with staged accidents, including two that occurred on June 6, 2017, and June 12, 2017. Previously, SOLOMON’s codefendants (Larry Williams, Lucinda Thomas, Mary Wade, Judy Williams, Dashontae Young, and Damian Labeaud (“Labeaud”)) all tendered guilty pleas and admitted to their knowing participation in a scheme to stage automobile accidents in the New Orleans area in an effort to defraud insurance and trucking companies.
SOLOMON admitted to acting as a “spotter” for Labeaud in both the June 6 and the June 12 staged automobile accidents alleged in the Superseding Indictment. As a “spotter,” SOLOMON would follow Labeaud in a separate vehicle as Labeaud prepared to stage accidents with 18-wheeler tractor-trailers. After the accidents, SOLOMON would pick up Labeaud after he exited the vehicle in which he had staged an accident. SOLOMON was paid in exchange for serving as a “spotter.” SOLOMON served as a spotter in at least two car accidents that Labeaud staged with 18-wheeler tractor-trailers. SOLOMON’s codefendants received a total of $43,000 as a result of the fraudulent lawsuits that were filed on their behalf.
U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon sentenced SOLOMON to 21 months imprisonment followed by 3 years supervised release. Additionally, SOLOMON was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $71,816.00 to the victims in this case.
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, Supervisor of the Financial Crimes Unit; Assistant U.S. Attorney Shirin Hakimzadeh; Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Rivera; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Carboni.
* * *