Father charged with intentionally driving his family off San Pedro pier in 2015 insurance scheme

SAN PEDRO, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A 44-year-old man has been arrested on charges that he deliberately drove his domestic partner and two young sons off a San Pedro pier to collect accidental death insurance policies he had purchased on their lives, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.

The two boys, 8-year-old Abdelkrim Elmezayen and 13-year-old Elhassan Elmezayen, died at a hospital after the April 9, 2015, car crash. Ali Elmezayen survived by swimming out of a side window, and the boys' mother was rescued by a nearby fisherman. Both children had autism.

Ali Elmezayen, a Hawthorne resident, was arrested last week and is scheduled to appear at a detention hearing Tuesday afternoon, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California. Prosecutors have filed a motion to have him held without bond.

According to a criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday, Elmezayen bought several insurance policies worth $6 million in coverage on himself, his domestic partner and his children in 2012 and 2013. He allegedly paid nearly $6,000 on those policies despite earning less than $30,000 a year at the time.

After the fatal incident, Elmezayen collected more than $260,000 in insurance payouts from American General Life Insurance and Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance on the policies he had taken out on the children's lives, according to prosecutors.

"This case alleges a calculated and cold-hearted scheme to profit off the deaths of two helpless children," said U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna. "The alleged conduct shocks the conscience, and we will use every tool available to us to ensure that justice is done."
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