A man from Hawthorne was convicted Thursday of fraud and faces multiple murder charges related to the death of his two young sons in April 2015.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Ali Elmezayen was convicted of both wire and mail fraud in addition to money laundering and identity theft.
The report states that Elmezayen drove his domestic partner and two sons in 1998 Honda Civic off the edge of a pier in the Port of Los Angeles to collect insurance money from their deaths.
The Washington Post reported that the woman Rabab Diab screamed for Elmezayen to hit the brakes and yelled “Stop! Stop!” However, according to the report, he did not respond to her screams and did not stop the vehicle.
Elmezayen apparently left his window open, which allowed him to emerge from the crash “within seconds” according to the report.
Diab survived the vehicular fall from the commercial fishing dock after car crashed in the harbor and started sinking without delay. However, the couple’s “severely autistic” sons (ages 8 and 13) remained restrained in child seats at the time and were reportedly trapped up to 30 feet underwater. The Los Angeles Fire Department divers rescued the boys from the ocean floor, but they both died shortly thereafter.
In an interview with the police after the accident, Elmezayen claimed that he did not know why or how he drove the car off the wharf. He suggested that his prescribed medication may have caused him to pass out behind the wheel or unintentionally hit the gas pedal instead of the brakes. A federal affidavit shows that he also blamed the possible existence of an internal “evil” that “pushed” him to go.
Elmezayen reportedly took out $7 million worth of accidental death insurance policies on his family. In the aftermath of the fatal crash, he was able to collect over $600,000 of that total.
In addition to facing charges from the State of California of murder for monetary gain, Elmezayen faces up to a 200-year prison sentence for his other fraud-related charges.
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