SPOKANE, Wash - Multiple people have been indicted on more than 100 federal charges in the Eastern Washington division of U.S. District Court. They're accused of staging accidents to collect insurance payouts over a period of five years.
According to the indictment between 2013 and 2018, the defendants "did knowingly and willfully engage in a scheme to defraud insurance companies and to obtain money from these companies by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises."
The indictment alleges the group conspired to defraud insurance companies "through filing and collecting payment on fraudulent insurance claims for property damage, wage loss, and bodily injury."
According to the indictment, "Mize, Talento and their co-conspirators were involved in approximately 33 staged accidents." That included approximately six staged accidents a year. "A high percentage of the planned automobile accidents were two-vehicle accidents on remote roads and at night when there were no witnesses other than the co-conspirator occupants of the intentionally crashed vehicles."
The indictment alleges one of the people "would allow Mize to use his or her vehicle for the purpose of staging an automobile accident and obtaining an insurance payout. Mize would deliberately drive the pre-planned "at fault" vehicle into the pre-planned "no fault" vehicle at a pre-planned location. Mize would then exit the vehicle he purposely crashed and be driven away from the staged accident in a third vehicle before the police and emergency personnel arrived. Another co-conspirator would falsely represent he or she was the driver of the "at fault" vehicle and caused the accident."
The indictment alleges that, before a staged accident, Mize would injure the co-conspirator to trick insurance companies into believing that person was injured in the crash. Also, "Mize required co-conspirators to urinate in a bottle and pour urine on their clothing to create the false and misleading impression that a co-conspirator suffered a loss of consciousness."
Federal prosecutors say the co-conspirators mislead police, emergency responders and insurance companies about the crashes and subsequent injuries.
The indictment also alleges the co-conspirators would often use fake names, social security numbers and dates of birth.
The documents say the individuals would collected insurance payouts and that Mize received a significant portion of the money paid.
It went beyond just car accidents. The indictment alleges Mize and another co-conspirator staged a stair fall accident at a home in California. The person told the insurance company that a large dog jumped on Mize, causing him to fall down the stairs and suffer a serious head injury. "Before emergency personnel arrived, Mize poured urine on his clothing to create the false impression that [he] suffered a loss of consciousness or seizure."
Staged accidents took place in California, Nevada and other locations. One happened in the parking lot of a business on E. 29th in Spokane. Another happened at the intersection of North Flint Road and West Trails Road in Spokane. They're also accused of staging an accident on Appleway in Liberty Lake, at the Silver Beach Marina in Coeur d'Alene and at the Coeur d'Alene Resort Marina in Coeur d'Alene.
The defendants face charges that include mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit health care fraud and other charges.
Defendants listed are:
-William Oldham Mize
-Angela Dawn Tardy
-Ryan Folks Park
-Jessica Alexandra Gonzalez
-Bonnie Jean Bonney
-Kimberly Rita Boito
-Christopher Joseph Frangella
-Richard Ronald Wells
-Raul A. Gonzalez
-Teresa Ann Gonzalez
-Michelle Lee Smith
-Matthew David Carter
-Jose Everardo Meza-Amezcua
-Michael Adam White
-Jason Allan Westfall
-Randy Carl Sharp
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