New Orleans Personal Injury Attorney Pleads Guilty In Connection with Staged Accident Probe | USAO-EDLA
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – US Attorney Duane A. Evans announced today that DANNY PATRICK KEATING, JR., 52, of New Orleans, Louisiana, today filed a plea for conspiracy to commit postal and wire fraud in violation of the title Filed 18, United States Code, Section 371, resulting from staged truck accidents in New Orleans before Senior District Court Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown.
KEATING was the thirty-third (33rd) defendant in the federal government investigation into willful staging of truck and truck accidents in the New Orleans metropolitan area. To date, twenty-three (23) of the thirty-three (33) defendants have made an admission of guilt in a federal court.
According to today’s admission of guilt, KEATING was a licensed Louisiana personal injury attorney. KEATING admitted to conspiring with Damian Labeaud and others to defraud insurance companies, commercial transport companies and freight forwarders in a scheme that involved the deliberate staging of car accidents.
Labeaud referred staged accidents to KEATING and other personal injury attorneys in New Orleans for $ 1,000 per passenger for truck accidents and $ 500 per passenger for non-truck accidents. KEATING paid Labeaud thousands of dollars for these accidents and instructed Labeaud that he owed KEATING a certain number of accidents based on the amount of money advanced. For example, on July 17, 2017, KEATING gave Labeaud $ 15,000.00 so that Labeaud could purchase a Chase Bank cash register check of $ 15,000 to buy Mario Solomon’s truck.Additionally, on September 25, 2017, KEATING wrote a check for $ 17,000.00 for “advertising” and used the proceeds to purchase a check payable to Labeaud for $ 17,000.00. The indictment alleges KEATING paid Labeaud additional checks for $ 12,500 in June 2017.
KEATING admitted knowingly paying Labeaud for thirty-one (31) illegally staged semi-trailer accidents. KEATING represented seventy-seven (77) plaintiffs who were involved in the thirty-one (31) accidents orchestrated by Labeaud. KEATING regulated seventeen (17) of the thirty-one (31) staged accidents. The indictment alleges that KEATING and its clients received approximately $ 1,500,000.00 in settlement for representing its clients involved in the staged accidents and that KEATING received approximately $ 358,000.00 in legal fees has retained.
KEATING admitted that it has filed lawsuits in state and federal courts in Louisiana on behalf of its clients who were involved in the staged accidents. The lawsuits, filed on behalf of the seventy-seven (77) plaintiffs, fraudulently alleged who drove the vehicles, misrepresented who was responsible for the staged accidents, and falsely alleged injuries. KEATING used the US Postal Service to send claims for settlement from the Eastern District of Louisiana to various locations outside the state on behalf of its customers who were involved in staged accidents. In many cases, KEATING customers have made false statements in testimony in connection with lawsuits filed by KEATING.
KEATING faces a maximum five (5) year prison sentence, a fine of $ 250,000.00, or double the gross profit of the accused or double the gross loss of any person from the offense under Title 18, United States Code, Section 3571. Additionally, KEATING threatens a prison sentence of up to three (3) years after his release from prison under supervision. The conviction on this matter is scheduled for January 20, 2021 before Chief District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown.
“Fraud, regardless of its size and means of orchestration, is a serious crime. Particularly egregious is the fraud committed by a member of our legal community against the hardworking taxpayer, said US Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana Duane A. Evans. “This admission of guilt sends a clear message that our office, together with our local, State and federal partners will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute all such corruption cases, regardless of their status.
“Today’s admission of guilt sends a clear message to individuals who choose fraudulent schemes that have a profound impact on the automotive and health insurance industries. You will be held accountable. Mr. Patrick Keating, a local attorney, took an oath to uphold the United States Constitution and the laws of the state of Louisiana, but instead violated those laws and his oath to unjustifiably enrich himself by participating in a plan that led to the filing of fraudulent auto and health insurance claims, “said Special Agent Douglas Williams, Jr.” I want to ask the Eastern District of Louisiana Attorney General, the Louisiana State Police, and the Metropolitan Crime Commission on their behalf Thank you for the partnership and excellent work done during this investigation. ”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office would also like to acknowledge the support of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Louisiana State Police, and the Metropolitan Crime Commission on this matter. The prosecution of this case is being conducted by Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Klebba, Chief Financial Officer; Assistant US Attorney Edward Rivera; Deputy US Attorney Shirin Hakimzadeh; and US Assistant Attorney Maria Carboni.
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Solomon was a scout who worked with Labeaud on staging car accidents. Solomon pleaded guilty on May 28, 2020 and was sentenced on January 22, 2021.
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