NEW ORLEANS – United States Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that KEISHIRA ROBINSON (“K. ROBINSON”), age 27, of New Orleans, Louisiana was sentenced today for Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, arising out of her involvement in a staged automobile accident that occurred on October 13, 2015. Thus far, the total number of defendants convicted in “Operation Sideswipe” is thirty-six (36).
According to documents filed in federal court, A. Robinson, Harris, Schaffer, and K. ROBINSON intentionally collided with a tractor-trailer in the area of Alvar Street and France Road in New Orleans. Roderick Hickman (“Hickman”), who pled guilty to a previous indictment charging him and 10 others with staging automobile accidents, was driving A. Robinson’s vehicle at the time of this accident. Hickman intentionally struck a tractor-trailer owned and operated by C.R. England, and then was picked up from the collision site by Damian Labeaud (“Labeaud”), who has also pled guilty to a previous indictment as part of this investigation. After the accident, A. Robinson, who had been in Labeaud’s vehicle at the time of the accident, then got behind the wheel of his own vehicle to make it appear that he had been driving at the time of the staged accident. A. Robinson falsely reported to the NOPD that he had been driving and that the tractor-trailer had struck his vehicle.
All four defendants were referred to an attorney who paid Labeaud for staging this accident, among others. All of the defendants were treated by doctors and healthcare providers at the direction of their attorneys, and A. Robinson, Harris, and Schaffer underwent surgeries. In total, in July 2019, the victim trucking and insurance company paid out approximately $4.7 million for the fraudulent claims associated with this staged accident.
United States District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle sentenced K. ROBINSON to 5 years’ probation, restitution ordered in the amount of $4,725,000, $100 mandatory special assessment, and the court granted the preliminary order of forfeiture in the amount of $5,000.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office would also like to acknowledge the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Louisiana State Police, and the Metropolitan Crime Commission with this matter. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Long, Brian M. Klebba, Chief of the Financial Crimes Unit, Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Carboni, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Rivera.