Washington State Man Charged With Defrauding Insurers In Crash Scam
Tri-City Herald | (Kennewick, WA)
Mar. 27—KENNEWICK, Wa. — A 54-year-old Kennewick man admitted last week to falsely accusing a FBI agent of trying to take a $22,000 bribe to make his case go away.
He was one of 23 suspects recently charged in a scheme to defraud insurance companies by staging 14 vehicle accidents over a three-year span. The group amassed nearly $1 million in fraudulent payouts, say federal prosecutors.
They were charged by indictment in December.
Mohammed Naji Al-Jibory was one of six accused of attempting to obstruct law enforcement officials and the investigation.
The FBI began investigating Al-Jibory and his accomplices in February 2019, after allegations surfaced that they were involved in a scheme to defraud multiple companies of money and property by “staging automobile accidents, and filing false and fraudulent claims with insurance companies, in violation of federal criminal laws,” said a release from Vanessa R. Waldref, U.S. Attorney for Eastern Washington.
The investigation was quickly expanded to look at other suspicious insurance claims the Eastern Washington.
In May 2020, the FBI served search warrants at several homes in Washington and California looking for evidence of federal crimes.
Al-Jibory was interviewed by the FBI in September 2020. During the interview he falsely accused the agent, as well as someone he suspected of being an informant, of soliciting a bribe from a third party to dismiss the case.
“In doing so, Al-Jibory engaged in misleading conduct toward the FBI agents with the intention of hindering, delaying, and preventing communication to these officers and a judge of the United States, of information relating to the commission and possible commission of federal offenses,” said the release.
He also tried to obstruct and impede official proceedings of the federal grand jury in front of a federal judge.
Al-Jibory is set to be sentenced July 21 at the U.S. Courthouse in Richland.
He faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine up to $250,000 and three years probation. It wasn’t immediately known what sentence will be recommended by Assistant U.S. Attorneys George J.C. Jacobs and Dominique J. Park.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Office of Inspector General for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, along with help from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.