New Orleans Woman Sentenced in Staged Automobile Collision Scheme
Published 7:32 am Tuesday, February 7, 2023
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – United States Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that, on February 1, 2023, U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance sentenced ASHLEY McGOWAN (“McGOWAN”), age 36, to serve 24 months in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release, for Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. Judge Vance also imposed restitution in the amount of $545,000 and a mandatory special assessment of $100.
According to Court documents, McGOWAN admitted to being in a conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection with a staged automobile collision. In the scheme, McGOWAN falsely claimed that she was a passenger in a car that was struck by a tractor-trailer on June 8, 2016. In fact, the government’s evidence showed that McGOWAN conspired with Damien Labeaud (“Labeaud”), Keishira Robinson (“K. Robinson”), Lertrice Johnson (“L. Johnson”), Davienque Johnson (“D. Johnson”), and others to intentionally collide K. Robinson’s Mazda with a tractor-trailer in the area of Chickasaw Street and Louisa Street in New Orleans. McGOWAN later lied in her civil deposition, falsely claiming that K. Robinson was driving the car that collided with the tractor-trailer, when in fact Labeaud was driving the car and intentionally hit the tractor-trailer. McGOWAN also falsely claimed that she was in the car at the time of the collision, even though she had been riding in a separate getaway car and entered the “slammer” car only after the collision occurred. Through her false statements and acts of deception, McGOWAN and her co-conspirators were able to secure a $545,000 monetary settlement from the owner and insurer of the tractor-trailer.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office would 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 S. Long; Brian M. Klebba, Chief of the Financial Crimes Unit; Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria M. Carboni; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Rivera.