Hawthorne father found guilty of fraud after trying to collect on sons' life insurance policies

ByABC7.com staff KABC logo
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Mother testifies against father in alleged scheme to kill sons
A mother who survived a car crash that killed her two sons testified against her estranged husband, who is accused of insurance fraud.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A Hawthorne father has been found guilty of fraud after trying to collect on his sons' life insurance policies.

Ali Elmezayen allegedly drove his family's car into the port of Los Angeles killing his two sons who had autism.

Jurors found Elmezayen guilty of federal charges including mail and wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering.

Rehab Diab, Elmezayen's estranged spouse, testified about the moments before Elmezayen drove off a dock in the Los Angeles harbor with their two sons strapped in the back seat. The boys, 13-year-old Elhassan and 8-year-old Abdelkrim, drowned. Elmezayen had taken out insurance policies on the boys more than two years earlier.

Diab testified that on April 9, 2015, Elmezayen wanted to watch the boats, but instead of parking, he accelerated toward the sea. She said it was especially terrifying because she couldn't swim.

The family was in financial hardship before the drownings. Elmezayen had filed for bankruptcy. Diab, who was undocumented, wanted a lawyer to help her obtain legal status. She testified that Elmezayen forced her to sign a marriage certificate with a homeless man to obtain legal status.

Elmezayen is still awaiting trial on state murder charges for the deaths of his two sons.