Arraignment Set, For Trio Charged With Staging Accidents on LA Freeways

Hand And Gavel.

Photo: Universal Images Group Editorial

SAN FERNANDO (CNS) - Three people accused of purposely causing accidents on Los Angeles County freeways -- including some in which motorists were severely injured -- to collect money from insurance companies are set to be arraigned today at the San Fernando courthouse.

Eduardo Retana, 25, Ausencio Gomez, 46, and Victor Valle-Diaz, 55, all of Los Angeles, were charged Monday with assault with a deadly weapon and insurance fraud, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Their arraignment has been set for Tuesday, but it was rescheduled for Wednesday.

The case stems from 15 crashes involving 21 victims, some of whom suffered severe injuries, according to the District Attorney's Office, which alleges insurance fraud companies were defrauded out of nearly $330,000.

Retana is charged with 11 counts of assault with a deadly weapon and 10 counts of insurance fraud; Gomez is charged with 10 counts of assault with a deadly weapon and nine counts of insurance fraud; and Valle-Diaz is charged with eight counts of assault with a deadly weapon and four counts of insurance fraud.

“Purposefully causing automobile collisions can cause grave injuries or even death for the innocent victims of an automobile insurance scheme,'' District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement announcing the charges.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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