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State police arrest eight and are searching for three in connection with staged crash investigation

Photo by KADN staff

Included children from ages 1 to 13 in these staged crashes, putting them at high risk

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 2:42pm

Over the past year state police have been investigating major insurance fraud and felony theft totaling over $112,000.  Police found that three crashes between 2011 and 2012 were intentionally staged to collect insurance settlements.  Each of the staged crashes had more than eight occupants in the car, with children from ages one to thirteen.

"To think that these children were intentionally placed in harms way so that somebody could not only defraud insurance companies, but raise your rates.  Any time that people are paid out for insurance claims your rates for your insurance goes up.  That's why this is something that's so important because their felony theft not only is it from the insurance company, but it's directly from your pocketbook," says Trooper Stephen Hammons, State Police Troop I.

The three in Lafayette arrested today is 24 year old Chase Joseph, 24 year old Kendall Traller, and 24 year old Cherita Washington.  All charged with one count each of insurance fraud, theft over $500, and child endangerment.  A total of eight have been arrested in different parishes close to Lafayette.  Forty-three year old Farcie Daigle Jr. of Arnaudville is expected to have been the mastermind to all of the staged crashes and collected a percent of the money.  He was arrested Friday with three counts of insurance fraud, three counts of theft over $500, two counts of child endangerment, and two counts of money laundering.

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