An Egyptian national who allegedly drove his severely autistic children off a pier at the Port of Los Angeles to collect money off of their life insurance policies is charged with multiple counts of fraud, but not murder, prosecutors said.
On Tuesday, a federal grand jury found that Ali F. Elmezayen, 44, intentionally drove his family into the water at the Port of Los Angeles in a scheme to collect proceeds of life insurance policies he had purchased on their lives. The indictment includes four counts of mail fraud, four counts of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft and five counts of money laundering.
Prosecutors did not charge Elmezayen for murder because there was not enough evidence to prosecute him.
FBI agents arrested Elmezayen on Nov. 7. He remains in custody.
In 2012 and 2013, Elmezayen purchased several life and accidental death insurance policies providing coverage on himself, his domestic partner Rabab Diab and their three children.
On April 9, 2015, Elmezayen drove a car with Diab and their two youngest children off a wharf at the Port of Los Angeles on April 9, 2015.
Elmezayen swam out the open driver’s side window of the car. Diab, who did not know how to swim, escaped the vehicle and survived when a nearby fisherman threw her a flotation device. The two children, who were 8 and 13, drowned in the car.
In the months following the deaths of his children, Elmezayen collected more than $260,000 in insurance proceeds from Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance and American General Life Insurance on the accidental death insurance policies he had taken out on the children’s lives, according to the indictment.
Authorities have also accused Elmezayen of overstaying his six-month visa and attempting to enter a sham marriage to gain green card status.
In 2000, Elmezayen and Diab came to the United States from Egypt on six month visas. After overstaying their visas, the couple settled in California. Elmezayen later entered into an agreement to support an American woman if she would agree to the sham marriage.
If convicted of all the charges contained in the indictment, Elmezayen would face a statutory maximum sentence of 212 years in federal prison. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 29 in United States District Court.