Louisiana Woman Latest to Plead Guilty in Staged Auto Collision Scheme
United States Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that Florence Randle, age 70, of Gibson, Louisiana, pled guilty on November 29, 2022 to Count One (1) of her indictment, charging her with Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. In exchange, the government agreed to dismissfour counts of Mail Fraud, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1341 and 2. In pleading guilty to Count 1, the defendant faces a maximum penalty of five (5) years’ imprisonment; a term of supervised release of up to three (3) years; a fine up to $250,000.00, as well as a mandatory special assessment fee of $100.00. Today’s guilty plea brings the total number of defendants convicted in Operation Sideswipe to 43.
According to court documents, Randle served as an intermediary who recruited and directed passengers to participate in staged automobile collisions with tractor-trailers on May 17, 2017 and June 6, 2017. The passengers in these collisions filed fraudulent lawsuits that falsely claimed that the tractor-trailers were at fault. Randle and her co-conspirators coordinated with others, including “slammer” Damian Labeaud and attorney Patrick Keating, to arrange the staged collisions. The Honorable Jane Triche Milazzo set sentencing in this matter for March 1, 2023.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office would like to acknowledge the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Louisiana State Police, and the Metropolitan Crime Commission with this matter. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria M. Carboni; Brian M. Klebba, Chief of the Financial Crimes Unit; Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Rivera; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon S. Long.
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