Twenty-three people have been charged in connection to a staged automobile crash scheme and over allegedly obstructing the FBIs investigation that followed. 

According to a federal indictment unsealed on Monday, 22 of those defendants conspired to commit mail and wire fraud and health care fraud, prosecutors in the Eastern District of Washington say.

In at least three of the collisions, prosecutors say, no one even occupied the victim vehicle when a defendant intentionally crashed another one into it. The defendants are accused of staging roughly 14 car accidents and submitting nearly $1 million in false insurance claims.


Six of the accused, including one who was not charged regarding the staged accidents, are accused of obstructing federal proceedings after they learned about the FBI’s investigation, the release said. 

Specifically, some of them are accused of making up a story that the FBI case agent and a suspected FBI informant “solicited a $22,000 bribe payment in exchange for offering the investigation or case to go away.”

Three defendants are also accused of threatening to use “physical force to prevent communication of information about the possible commission of federal crimes to a law enforcement officer and a judge.”

Some also face charges related to making false statements to the FBI, witness tampering or tampering with evidence. 

The defendants are in Washington, California, Michigan, Nevada and Canada, and their ages range from 20 to 56. Four defendants have yet to be located and “are considered fugitives,” the prosecutors added.

The defendants include Ali Abed Yaser, Hussein A. Yasir, Insaf A. Karawi, Hasanein A. Yaser, Ahmad K. Bachay, Mashael A. Bachay, Mohammed Bajay, Hussain K. Bachay, Noor Tahseen Al-Maarej, Ali F. Al-Himrani, Rana J. Kaabawi, Amar F. Abdul-Salam, Ameer R. Mohammed, Mohammed F. Al-Himrani, Maria Elena Sanchez, Seifeddine A. Al-Kinani, Abdullah Al-Dulaimi, Firas S. Hadi, Farooq S. Yaseen, Khalil Abdul-Razaq, Jesus George Sanchez, Sinan Akrawi and Mohammed Naji Al-Jibory.

If convicted, they could face up to 20 years in prison for each count of mail and wire fraud, up to 20 years for obstructing justice and up to 10 years for conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Those accused of making false statements to the FBI could face up to five years.