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Woman avoids jail time in latest sentencing for Louisiana staged accidents

Home incarceration for 6 months will kick off a 3-year probation

Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

A Houston woman who pleaded guilty to involvement in the Louisiana staged accident scam is staying out of jail after her sentencing.

Genetta Isreal was sentenced to six months’ home incarceration as part of the three years’ probation sentence handed down Thursday by U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon. Fallon sits on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, where all the other defendants in the staged accident cases have been indicted, pleaded guilty or sentenced. 

The numerous incidents all took place in Louisiana, most of them in the New Orleans metropolitan area. They followed a pattern: a car full of passengers dubbed as “slammers” would stage a collision with an 18-wheeler (or in at least one case, a bus), the slammers would allege various ailments as a result of the crash, lawsuits would be filed and settlements would be sought. In some cases, the settlements were large, and there were even instances of unnecessary surgeries performed to drive home the point that the “injuries” were severe. No doctors have been indicted in connection with the case.  

Isreal pleaded guilty in August.

The relatively light sentencing of Isreal stands in contrast to the stiff sentences handed down to other defendants who have pleaded guilty. A relatively minor participant in the scam, Mario Solomon, got less than two years in January. A married couple, Anthony Robinson and Audrey Harris, were sentenced to four years in July. Those are the only reported sentences handed down by the courts before the Isreal sentence this week. 

A statement on the sentencing, released by Duane Evans, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District, spelling out the details of the accident involving Israel suggests that Isreal was not involved in planning the June 12, 2017, staged accident that is at the heart of her guilty plea and sentence.

The recap of the case involves now-familiar names who were involved in planning the staged accident and carrying it out: Solomon, Damian Labeaud, who has pleaded guilty and was a participant in many of the staged accidents, and Larry Williams.

Williams recruited Isreal to the scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney’s statement. Isreal was treated by doctors at the direction of Danny Keating, a New Orleans lawyer who is the only attorney involved in the case who has been indicted so far. Keating pleaded guilty in June and has not been sentenced yet. 

Isreal also provided false testimony in depositions taken as part of the lawsuit filed by Keating’s law firm, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Isreal also was ordered to pay restitution of $28,816.64 and a $100 mandatory special assessment fee.

There have been 33 defendants indicted in connection with the staged accident scheme. There have been 29 guilty pleas. Cornelius Garrison was indicted and was reportedly cooperating with investigators when he was gunned down at his home in September 2020. There have been no arrests in that slaying.

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.