Twenty-Three People Indicted in Staged Automobile Accident Scheme
Defendants Charged with Staging Accidents, Obstructing Official Proceedings, and Making False Statements to FBI Investigators
Richland, Washington – Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced the unsealing of a 138-count federal indictment charging twenty-three defendants in Washington, California, Michigan, Nevada, and British Columbia, Canada with participating in a staged automobile accident scheme, obstructing an official proceeding, and making false statements to FBI investigators.
According to the indictment, twenty-two of the defendants conspired to commit mail and wire fraud and health care fraud by staging approximately 14 automobile accidents and thereafter caused the submission of almost $1 million in false insurance claims for lost wages, bodily injury, and property damage. According to the allegations, in at least three of the staged accidents, there were no occupants (driver or passengers) in the “victim” vehicle when a defendant deliberately drove the “at fault” vehicle” into the “victim” vehicle. The twenty-two defendants alleged to have been involved in the scheme are: Ali Abed Yaser, Hussein A. Yasir, Insaf A. Karawi, Hasanein A. Yaser, Ahmad K. Bachay, Mashael A. Bachay, Hussein K. Bachay, Mohammad Bajay, Noor Tahseen Al-Maarej, Ali F. Al-Himrani, Rana J. Kaabawi, Amar F. Abdul-Salam, Ameer R. Mohammed, Mohammed F. Al-Himrani, Maria Elena Sanchez, Seifeddine A. Al-Kinani, Farooq S. Yaseen, Firas S. Hadi, Abdullah Al-Dulaimi, Khalil Abdul-Razaq, Jesus George Sanchez, and Sinan Akrawi.
The indictment further alleges that when Ali Abed Yaser, Hussein A. Yasir, Hasanein A. Yaser, Ahmad K. Bachay, Ali F. Al-Himrani and Mohammed Naji Al-Jibory (who is not charged in the staged accident scheme) learned of the FBI’s investigation, they committed various acts to obstruct official proceedings. Some of the alleged obstructive acts included Ali Abed Yaser, Hussein A. Yasir, Hasanein A. Yaser and Mohammed Naji Al-Jibory fabricating a story that the FBI case agent, and another individual suspected of working as an FBI informant, solicited a $22,000 bribe payment in exchange for offering the investigation or case to go away. Other alleged obstructive acts included Ali Abed Yaser, Ahmad K. Bachay and Ali F. Al-Himrani using threats of physical force to prevent communication of information about the possible commission of federal crimes to a law enforcement officer and a judge.
Two of the defendants, Ali Abed Yaser and Mohammad Naji Al-Jibory, are charged with making false statements to FBI investigators. Ali Abed Yaser, Ahmad K. Bachay, and Ali F. Al-Himrani are charged with witness tampering. The indictment also alleges Ali Abed Yaser attempted to tamper with evidence.
The following defendants are charged in the Indictment:
Defendant, Age, Location
ALI ABED YASER 51 Kennewick, WA
HUSSEIN A. YASIR 39 Kennewick, WA
INSAF A. KARAWI 52 Kennewick, WA
HASANEIN A. YASER 20 Kennewick, WA
AHMAD K. BACHAY 35 El Cajon, CA
MASHAEL A. BACHAY 31 El Cajon, CA
MOHAMMAD BAJAY 39 El Cajon, CA
HUSSAIN K. BACHAY 32 Vancouver, B.C. Canada
NOOR TAHSEEN AL-MAAREJ 32 El Cajon, CA
ALI F. AL-HIMRANI 40 Temecula, CA
RANA J. KAABAWI 38 Temecula, CA
AMAR F. ABDUL-SALAM 40 El Cajon, CA
AMEER R. MOHAMMED 45 Kennewick, WA
MOHAMMED F. AL-HIMRANI 33 Kennewick, WA
MARIA ELENA SANCHEZ 41 Kennewick, WA
SEIFEDDINE A. AL-KINANI 37 Las Vegas, NV
ABDULLAH AL-DULAIMI 30 Detroit, MI
FIRAS S. HADI 41 El Cajon, CA
FAROOQ S. YASEEN 32 Kennewick, WA
KHALIL ABDUL-RAZAQ 40 Kennewick, WA
JESUS GEORGE SANCHEZ 56 Eltopia, WA
SINAN AKRAWI 44 La Mesa, CA
MOHAMMED NAJI AL-JIBORY 54 Kennewick, WA
Four defendants have not been located at this time and are considered fugitives. If convicted, the defendants face the following possible maximum statutory sentences: 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and each count of mail and wire fraud; 20 years in prison for conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and each count of witness and evidence tampering; 10 years in prison for conspiracy to commit health care fraud; and five years in prison for making false statements to the FBI.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the National Insurance Crime Bureau. This case is being prosecuted by George J.C. Jacobs, III and Dominique Juliet Park, Assistant United States Attorneys for the Eastern District of Washington.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.