California man sentenced for drowning his two autistic sons in attempted insurance scheme

In California, a U.S. district judge sentenced a father for killing his two sons in an insurance fraud scheme on Friday, March 12th.

In 2015, Ali Elmezayen, 45, drove his autistic sons and ex-wife into the Port of Los Angeles after two years of buying various life and accidental death insurance coverage from a multitude of companies. After intentionally driving his car into the water, Elmezayen escaped through a window he left open, abandoning Rabab Diab, his wife– now ex-wife– and his two children. Elmezayen, knowing his wife couldn’t swim, swam to shore and abandoned his family. However, despite not being able to swim, his wife survived the event when a local fisherman threw her a life preserver and took her ashore. The two children in the car, 13-year-old Elhassan and 8-year-old Abdelkrim, both drowned and were killed. 

According to the IRS, the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation lead the case against Elmezayen and were unable to find jurisdiction to file federal murder charges. Leaving his two sons to drown in the ‘accident,’ the man collected $262,000 in accidental death insurance claims that paid for a boat and property in Egypt. It was not until 2018 that FBI agents arrested Almezayen and subsequently charged with federal and state crimes a year later.

Ali Elmezayen was found guilty of some fourteen federal felonies in an attempt to profit of the death of his ex-wife and two disabled children who were eight and thirteen years old. While his ex-wife, as well as his third son who was away at camp during the incident survived, Elmezayen is facing the maximum available 212 years in federal prison for four counts of wire fraud and mail fraud, five counts of money laundering, and identity theft. In addition to the federal crimes, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is awaiting to prosecute the man for murder and attempted murder. The Egyptian native also owes a $261,751 restitution to compensate the insurance companies. Reportedly, ICE was also watching the case because Elmezayen had no legal residence in the United States, thus, being subject to deportation.

During the trial in October 2019, Elmezayen’s third son spoke out against his father when he said his brother’s graves were merely treated as bank accounts. Neither the defendant nor the father spoke at the trial. Judge John Walter notably called the whole scam ‘evil and diabolical.’ Although Elmezayen’s fate seems concrete, facing 212 years in a federal prison, ICE could potentially deport him. Also, Los Angeles’s District Attorney still has merit to file state level murder and attempted murder charges. In California, the state has not executed a criminal since 2006, so even if the state finds him guilty, it would not change his fate. After six years since the incident, it seems everyone agrees justice has been served.




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