Seven people, including six New Orleans-area residents and a Hammond man, are accused of insurance fraud after state police say the group staged a pair of crashes in the city.
Those arrested include Hayward Howard, 32; Jasmine Howard, 28; Eddie Ellis, 19; Hayward Carter, 51; Jodie Davis, 20; and Neichell Raymond, 42, all of New Orleans, along with 19-year-old Dante Carter of Hammond.
The arrests, which began in January and continued through March 25, capped a months-long investigation by detectives with the Louisiana State Police Insurance Fraud/Auto Theft Unit’s New Orleans Field Office.
Investigators believe the crashes, which occurred in February and May of 2018, were orchestrated by Hayward Howard, Troop B spokesman Monroe Dillon said. Investigators were tipped last August that Hayward Howard, Jasmine Howard, Dante Carter and Ellis had staged one of the crashes.
In that crash, reported Feb. 28, 2018, at Constance and Bordeaux streets in Uptown, Hayward Howard backed a rented U-Haul truck into Jasmine Howard’s vehicle, occupied by Ellis and Carter. All occupants filed claims for damages and injuries, state police said.
In the second crash, which took place May 31, 2018, at Bender Drive and Seine Street in Algiers, Howard “purposefully” drove a rented U-Haul truck into a Cadillac owned by Ellis. In that crash, which investigators also determined was staged, three more people---Hayward Carter, Raymond and Davis--- filed claims for damages and injuries, authorities said.
The seven were booked into the Orleans Justice Center jail over a roughly two-month span. None remain in jail, according to jail records.
• Hayward Carter was booked Jan. 25 with one count each of insurance fraud and filing false public records. His bond was set at $2,000.
• Davis was booked Feb. 4 with one count of insurance fraud. His bond was set at $500.
• Ellis was arrested March 27 on two counts of insurance fraud and one count of filing false public records. He was released on his own recognizance by an Orleans Parish magistrate judge, according to court records. His bond was set at $3,000.
• Dante Carter was booked with one count of insurance fraud and also released on his own recognizance by a judge. Court records show no bond set for Dante Carter.