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Press Release

Illegal Alien Sentenced to 60 Months in Federal Prison for Role in $4.7 Million Mail/Wire/Healthcare Fraud and Money Laundering Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Washington
Washington and Nevada Resident Sentenced in Federal Court

Spokane – William D. Hyslop, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Misael Reyes-Tajimaroa, age 36, of Michoacan, Mexico, was sentenced after having pleaded guilty to one count of healthcare fraud conspiracy, one count of mail and wire fraud conspiracy, eight counts of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud, one count of money laundering conspiracy, and one count of money laundering. United States District Judge Thomas O. Rice sentenced Reyes-Tajimaroa to a 60-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 3- year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison. Judge Rice also ordered Reyes-Tajimaroa to pay restitution in the amount of $500,000.

According to information disclosed during court proceedings, Reyes-Tajimaroa, an illegal alien who was residing at various times in Spokane County, Washington, and Clark County, Nevada was an integral member of an extensive healthcare/mail/wire fraud scheme that staged automobile, boating and slip and fall accidents in Spokane, Washington, Liberty Lake, Washington, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Shingle Springs, California, Rescue, California, Las Vegas, Nevada and Henderson, Nevada that defrauded insurance companies out of approximately $4.7 million by filing fraudulent bodily injury claims. Reyes-Tajimaroa played “injured” victim, “getaway” driver or “lookout” in approximately sixteen of the phony accidents and received medical treatment for fictitious or intentionally inflicted injuries to various parts of his body. After one phony accident, Reyes-Tajimaroa was airlifted via helicopter to a hospital by first responders. As part of the staging in another accident, Reyes-Tajimaroa used pliers to break off his teeth. Reyes-Tajimaroa also conspired with others to launder money from the fraudulent insurance claims.

United States Attorney Hyslop said, “Reyes-Tajimaroa was involved in a sophisticated and elaborate fraud and money laundering scheme that operated in four different states. Fraud schemes like these ultimately increase insurance premiums and health care costs for law-abiding citizens. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District ofWashington is resolute in prosecuting aggressively those individuals who may engage in such conduct. I commend the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation and U.S. Marshals Service for their outstanding work investigating this case.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Raymond Duda said,“Greed tempts people to do many things, and in this case, even causing self-harm. However, the harm inflicted on honest consumers did not seem to be of any concern to him or his co-conspirators. Mr. Reyes-Tajimaroa will now have the next 42 months to consider whether his participation in this scheme was worth it.”

“Misael Reyes-Tajimaroa directly participated in staged accidents to purposely mislead first responders about his and other’s bodily injuries and by doing so endangered the public who suffered from real emergencies,” said IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Special Agent in Charge Justin Campbell. “IRS-CI will continue to work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and its law enforcement partners to hold accountable all who conspire to commit fraud.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington Criminal Healthcare Fraud Investigator, with assistance from the National Insurance Crime Bureau. This case was prosecuted by George J.C. Jacobs, III, and Brian Donovan, Assistant United States Attorneys for the Eastern District of Washington.

Updated September 25, 2020

Health Care Fraud
Press Release Number: 2:18-CR-00232-TOR-6