Updated September 25, 2020 - 11:40 am
A man in the United States illegally has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for involvement in an elaborate insurance fraud scam with ties to Las Vegas.
A news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Washington said Misael Reyes-Tajimaroa, 36, of Michoacan, Mexico, previously pleaded guilty to mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering in the scam. Authorities said Reyes-Tajimaroa posed as a “phony” victim in at least 16 car accidents, boating mishaps and fake slip-and-falls with the purpose of defrauding insurance companies. Some of the scams were carried out in Las Vegas and Henderson.
The scheme yielded more than $4.7 million swindled from insurance companies.
“After one phony accident, Reyes-Tajimaroa was airlifted via helicopter to a hospital by first responders,” authorities said. “As part of the staging in another accident, Reyes-Tajimaroa used pliers to break his teeth.”
Reyes-Tajimaroa was sentenced to 60 months in prison and ordered to pay $500,000 in restitution. Others also participated in the scheme, which was investigated by the FBI, the IRS, U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington’s criminal health care fraud unit, with the assistance of the National Insurance Crime Bureau.