Seven New Orleans-area residents, mostly from St. Bernard Parish, have been arrested in an insurance fraud scheme involving a staged car crash, state police said Jan. 3.
The recent arrests cap a roughly five-month investigation into the October 2016 crash in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans.
According to investigators with Louisiana State Police, the group staged the crash and then made false insurance claims for injuries and property loss.
Those arrested include:
• Davis Lee White, 31, of Chalmette
• Stephanie Dubea White, 50, of Chalmette
• Rachel Lynn White, 29, of Chalmette
• Craig Michael Spadoni Sr., 47, of Meraux
• Marvin Dale Walker, 27, of Violet
• Dorothyjane Rose Hohensee, 25, of New Orleans
• Lydia Dorothy Hohensee, 42, of Meraux
The investigation into the crash began in August after state police detectives were tipped by the Louisiana Department of Insurance about possible fraudulent insurance claims stemming from a 2016 crash.
The crash was reported on Oct. 14, 2016 at the intersection of Law and Forstall streets and involved a rented 2016 GMC Sierra truck and a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu, state police spokeswoman Melissa Matey said.
Following the crash, the seven suspects filed a crash report with the New Orleans Police Department and made insurance claims with the intention of receiving a monetary settlement, Matey said in a news release.
State police did not say how investigators determined the crash was staged, but Matey said detectives obtained a confession.
The group of seven was booked into the Orleans Justice Center jail, each with automotive insurance fraud, criminal damage to property with the intent to defraud, injuring public records and filing false public records.
State police announced the investigation and arrests after making the final arrest Jan. 2. Booking photos of the accused were not available the afternoon of Jan. 3.
According to Orleans Parish court records, Spadoni was arrested Sept. 18, 2018, Stephanie White and Rachel White were booked Sept. 20, 2018, and Dorothyjane Hohensee was booked Sept. 27, 2018. Walker was arrested Oct. 30, 2018, court records show.
Spadoni’s bond was set at $10,000. Bond for Stephanie White and Walker was set at $4,000 each, according to court records. Rachel White’s bond was set at $5,000. Dorothyjane Hohensee was released on her own recognizance.
Orleans Parish court and jail records did not include information on Davis White or Lydia Hohensee.
None of the group remains in the Orleans Justice Center jail, jail records show.
Anyone with knowledge of a fraudulent scheme or the location of a stolen vehicle is asked to notify Louisiana State Police by emailing email@example.com or using the Louisiana State Police online reporting system at www.lsp.org. Click on the “Suspicious Activity” link.