A Kennewick man has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in federal prison for conspiring to thwart an FBI investigation after causing a premeditated car accident in an insurance fraud conspiracy.
Ali Abed Yaser has falsely accused Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and others of soliciting bribes in an attempt to thwart an investigation into an insurance fraud scheme.
U.S. Judge Mary K. Dimke also ordered Yasser, 52, to pay about $127,000 in damages and about $20,000 in judgment on Thursday. He faces three years of probation after being released from prison.
She said Yasser engaged in a “coordinated and dedicated effort to undermine the credibility” of the FBI.
His actions “damaged the agency’s reputation and the community’s ability to have faith and confidence in the judicial system as a whole,” she said.
Yasser’s crime was “serious, complex, and highly orchestrated,” according to federal district court documents. “Insurance fraud is a serious crime that impacts society in the form of higher insurance premiums.”
He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud as one of 23 defendants in a fraud case. conspiracy to commit health care fraud; conspiracy to obstruct official proceedings; making false statements within the jurisdiction of any government agency. His two counts of email fraud.
Attorneys for the Eastern Washington U.S. Attorney’s Office gave a four-year, three-month sentence, while Yaser gave a two-year, 11-month sentence.
Federal investigators say Yaser was involved in a car accident in May 2019 after refusing to pay monthly payments for his 2014 Lexus IS.
Also involved were his wife, an adult son and two minor daughters, and at least two co-defendants, Amir R. Mohammed and Seyfuddin Al-Kinani, according to court documents.
According to court documents, Mohammed intentionally crashed his 2009 Hyundai Sonata into a Lexus on a rural road near Tri-City.
Fraudulent insurance claims
Yaser then told his family to seek medical attention for nonexistent injuries and used a law firm to file fraudulent claims on behalf of his son and daughter.
He told insurance companies that his wife, son, and daughter suffered neck, shoulder, and left leg injuries that required treatment and physical therapy.
He also claimed in an insurance company interview that he was the worst affected.
He said he had to cancel several business orders at a roofing company he owned because of his injuries and had to use a cane to walk.
Two insurers paid out approximately $127,000 in connection with the staged crash.
Yaser received approximately $34,500. This included personal injury settlements and collision compensation. His two daughters each received her $5,000.
His Lexus was taken to a salvage and he bought it back and sold it for $5,000.
When the FBI searched his home, along with other residences in Washington and California, Yasser thought he was safe until a year after the planned crash, according to court documents.
“Mr. Yasser doubled down when faced with the discovery of his fraud scheme,” said Richard Collody, a special agent in charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office.
FBI agent falsely accuses
He suspected that one of the people who helped him with his auto accident insurance scam was working as an informant for the FBI, and that person and an FBI agent offered him $20,000 to solve the case. I falsely accused you of requesting it.
He recruited another person who was actually working with the FBI as a confidential informant and secretly recorded a meeting with a suspect informant so that Yaser could later falsify the record. bottom.
He also had a person he didn’t know was working as a confidential informant lure the suspect to the garage and turn off the security system so that Yeaser could “finish him,” according to court documents. I asked to be able to
Yaser is an Iraqi refugee who arrived in the United States about 13 years ago to build a home in Kennewick and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2016.
Although he does not have a criminal record, he does have a 4th degree serious misdemeanor of domestic violence and was dismissed after completing a two-year term.
“Mr. Yasser was a respected member of Kennewick’s Iraqi community,” his attorney, Craig Webster, said in court documents. “He often opened his home and hosted religious and community gatherings.”
Several members of the Iraqi community sent the judge’s letter in favor of Yasser.
Webster also said that during his 14 months in the Benton County Jail, Yeaser was worried about his family’s well-being.
“The position he put them in based on poor decisions weighs heavily on him,” Webster said.
But Yasser’s “criminal conduct demonstrates his lack of respect for the law, police, medical personnel, and the insurance business,” federal prosecutors wrote in court documents.
“If arrested, he appears to believe it is acceptable to lie to law enforcement, meet with other people to coordinate stories, or falsify potential evidence or witnesses. It is,” they said.
U.S. Attorney Vanessa Waldrev said after the hearing that “efforts to obstruct federal criminal proceedings will not be tolerated.”
She also said the premeditated accident prevented police from responding to legitimate distress calls.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney George JC Jacobs III.
This story was originally published January 27, 2023 at 11:20 am.