20 people indicted for staging crashes to defraud insurance

SPOKANE, Wash. — Twenty people have been indicted by a grand jury in Spokane, Washington, for allegedly staging vehicle crashes to defraud insurance companies.

Defendants are accused of deliberately staging a series of automobile, boating, pedestrian/vehicle and other accidents in Washington, Idaho, Nevada and California between 2013 and 2018.

The Spokesman-Review says most of the crashes were two-vehicle collisions on remote roads at night where there were no witnesses other than the occupants of the intentionally crashed vehicles.

Most people named in the indictment are Spokane-based.

Court documents say the defendants staged 33 crashes, collecting payment for property damage, wage loss, and bodily injury.

The documents say in some cases conspirators would urinate in a bottle, which they would pour on their clothing to make it appear they lost consciousness.