(CN) - A federal judge imposed a 10 year sentence Thursday against the New Yorker who staged dozens of intentional car crashes to collect insurance money.
Maxo Jean, of West Hempstead, Long Island, must also forfeit nearly $600,000 and pay restitution to his victims, according to the sentence imposed by 2nd Circuit Judge Denny Chin, sitting by designation in Manhattan's Southern District.
A jury had convicted Jean earlier this year for his involvement in more than 30 crashes with innocent third parties over a five-year period. Prosecutors showed that Jean fraudulently obtained insurance benefits based on unnecessary medical treatments he secured for co-conspirators.
The scheme was elaborate. Prosecutors said Jean orchestrated the scheme by finding cars, recruiting crews of drivers and passengers, and then sending the crews out to hit cars driven by innocent victims.
Jean paid the drivers and passengers he recruited, and directed them to crash into cars driven by innocent people so that the supposed "accidents" would appear to be real accidents.
Prosecutors said after the crashes, Jean took his co-conspirators to corrupt medical clinics and directed them to submit to unnecessary treatment, including unnecessary surgeries, for their non-existent injuries, so that the treatments could be billed to car insurance companies.
Over the course of the five-year scam, Jean and his co-conspirators filed over $1.5 million in fraudulent insurance claims.
A jury convicted Jean of conspiracy to commit mail, wire, and health care fraud on Jan. 31 after a one-week trial.