Louisiana man pleads guilty to staging car accidents

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NEW ORLEANS, La (BRPROUD) United States Attorney Duane A. Evans announced on Sunday, Aug. 15 that 22-year-old Dewayne Coleman plead guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud from staging an automobile accident with A tractor-trailers in New Orleans, La.

Coleman, and his co-defendants: Erica Lee Thompson, Donisha Lee, Donreion Lee and Aisha Thompson, conspired to commit mail fraud in connection with a staged accident with plaintiff Cornelius Garrison that happened on Sep. 6 2017. 

Coleman confessed that on Sep. 6, on the I-10 near the Almonaster 239B exit, he was a passenger in co-defendant E. Thompson’s 2015 RAV4 that was being driven by a former co-defendant, when the driver purposely crashed into a tractor-trailer owned by Averitt Express.  

After the staged accident, the former co-defendant exited the RAV4 and told Lee to get behind the wheel of the vehicle to make it appear that E. Thompson was driving at the time of the staged accident. 

The defendants contacted the New Orleans Police Department and falsely claimed that E. Thompson was the driver at the time of the accident. Coleman made a claim for damages, and the settlement for the Averitt incident was $30,000.

Two years later, on March 26 2019, both Donisha Lee and Donreion Lee gave false testimonies in their depositions for the lawsuit. Aisha Thompson also gave a false testimony in her deposition on April 9 2019.

In all their depositions, each co-defendant lied about who was driving the vehicle and their injuries, according to the press release.

Coleman is set to face five years in prison and can face a three year supervised release after he is officially released.

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