Recently, federal prosecutors indicted a personal injury lawyer for a huge conspiracy involving staged crashes. The lawyer reported collected nearly $358,000 dollars from 31 different lawsuits. The problem is that these lawsuits were the outcome of staged accidents. The clients in these accidents received around $1.5 million. The lawyer’s name is Danny Patrick Keating, and he is indicted with one charge of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. If Keating is convicted, he’ll be facing up to a $250,000 fine and five years in prison. After that, he’ll have up to three years of probation under supervision. A third party was paid to refer crashes to Keating, his name is Damian Labeaud. They would get paid $500 if there was not a tractor-trailer involved, and a thousand dollars if there was.
Keating apparently fronted the money to Labeaud and told him that he had to refer a certain amount of accidents to make up for the fronted cash. The cash in question added up to thousands of dollars. Allegedly, the two had numerous conversations about how to stage the crashes. In fact, it was found that they were using coded language to talk about crashes before they even happened. The official statement from prosecutors claim that the lawsuits “fraudulently alleged who was driving the vehicles, misrepresented who was at fault in the staged accidents, and falsely claimed injuries.”
On top of that, it’s alleged that many of Keating’s clients lied about the events during their respective accidents. The belief is that Keating coached them on what to say and how to deliver their testimony to make sure they would get a payout. This elaborate fraud scheme is said to involve upwards of 77 people. Some of those people were paid money via USPS to addresses outside of Louisiana (where Keating is based and operates). Labeaud pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy back in August, and he admitted to being one of the ringleaders in the events. He would stage and set up the crashes before reporting them to Keating.
As the story develops new people are being revealed, but there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that Keating is going to be fighting an uphill battle during this lawsuit.