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Press Release

Two More New Orleans Residents Sentenced in Staged Automobile Collision Scheme

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

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA United States Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that, on February 15, 2023, U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance sentenced HERBERT ALLEN (ALLEN), age 38, and DION RIDLEY (“RIDLEY”), age 23, after they pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.  Judge Vance sentenced ALLEN to 37 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release. RIDLEY was sentenced to 6 months in prison, followed by 1 year of supervised release. Judge Vance also imposed a mandatory special assessment fee of $100 as to each defendant.

According to court documents, the defendants admitted to being in a conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection with a staged automobile collision.  In the scheme, ALLEN falsely claimed that he was the driver of a car that was struck by a tractor-trailer on June 28, 2017. RIDLEY, a passenger in the car, falsely claimed that ALLEN was driving the car and they were struck by a tractor-trailer. In fact, the government’s evidence showed that the defendants conspired with Damien Labeaud (“Labeaud”), Roderick Hickman (“Hickman”), and others to intentionally collide ALLEN’s 2007 Chevrolet Impala with a tractor-trailer in the area of Tchoupitoulas Street and Calliope Street in New Orleans. Both defendants lied in civil depositions, falsely claiming that ALLEN was driving the car that collided with the tractor-trailer, when in fact Hickman was driving the car and intentionally hit the tractor-trailer.  Through their false statements and acts of deception, ALLEN was able to secure a $50,000 monetary settlement from the owner and insurer of the tractor-trailer, and RIDLEY was able to secure a $90,000 monetary settlement. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office would 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 Brandon S. Long; Brian M. Klebba, Unit Chief; Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria M. Carboni; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Rivera, all members of the Financial Crimes Unit.


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Updated February 22, 2023

Financial Fraud