A California father is behind bars, expected to face multiple charges in the deaths of his two autistic sons who drowned after he drove his family over a wharf in Los Angeles.
The New York Daily News reports that a judge has ordered Ali F. Elmezayen, 44, to remain in jail as authorities continue an investigation alleging insurance fraud and murder of his two severely autistic children.
Elmezayen is accused of driving his sons, ages 8 and 13, and his domestic partner off a Los Angeles wharf in April 2015. His two sons drowned, and his domestic partner was reportedly rescued by nearby fishermen.
According to an NBC report, the prosecution was delayed due to “insufficient evidence.” It does not appear that Elmezayen has yet been charged with the murders of his sons, but is in custody on charges relating to alleged insurance fraud.
The Daily News obtained documents from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Central California accusing Elmezayen of taking out “several accidental death insurance policies” on himself and his family members, reportedly paying $6,000 a year for the coverage on an annual salary of less than $30,000.
The suspect’s insurance companies told the newspaper that Elmezayen collected $260,000 after his children’s deaths.
“This case alleges a calculated and cold-hearted scheme to profit off the deaths of two helpless children,” United States Attorney Nick Hanna told the Daily News.
“The alleged conduct shocks the conscience, and we will use every tool available to us to ensure that justice is done.”
Elmezayen could face up to 20 years in prison on each of the insurance fraud charges alone. It is not yet known when he is expected to be charged with additional crimes.
CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.
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