A California man has been sentenced to 212 years in federal prison for killing his two autistic sons in a bid to cash out on insurance policies worth more than $260,000, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Thursday.
U.S. District Judge John F. Walter sentenced 45-year-old Ali F. Elmezayen to 212 years for his “evil and diabolical scheme” and the “vicious and callous nature of his crimes,” according to the DOJ.
“He is the ultimate phony and a skillful liar… and is nothing more than a greedy and brutal killer,” Walter said, according to the DOJ. “The only regret that defendant has is that he got caught.”
Hawthorne Man Sentenced to 212 Years in Prison for Scheming to Collect Insurance Proceeds by Intentionally Killing His Children: Ali F. Elmezayen of Hawthorne received 212 years in prison for driving his ex-wife and two disabled sons off a wharf at the … https://t.co/0gYgjs5Uts
— FBI Los Angeles (@FBILosAngeles) March 12, 2021
Elmezayen was also ordered to pay $261,751 back to the insurance companies he defrauded.
Between July 2012 and March 2013, Elmezayen bought polices from eight different insurance companies that totaled more than $3 million in life and accidental death policies for him and his family. He paid $6,000 for the policies each year and began purchasing the polices the same year that he exited a bankruptcy proceeding, the DOJ announced.
Elmezayen called the insurance companies frequently to ensure the polices were active and that he would be paid should his ex-wife die in an accident. He also ensured that insurance companies would not investigate claims made two years after policies were purchased.
Nearly two weeks after the two-year period ended, Elmezayen drove his ex-wife and two youngest children off a wharf in Los Angeles on April 9, 2015, according to the DOJ.
Elmezayen swam out of an open window while his ex-wife managed to escape the vehicle. His ex-wife did not know how to swim but survived because a fisherman threw her a flotation device, according to the DOJ.
Elmezayen’s two sons, ages 8 and 13, who were “both severely autistic” drowned in the car. The couples third son was at camp and was not present at the time of the incident. (RELATED: REPORT: Feds Say Dentist Purposely Caused $2 Million In Damage To Teeth In Crown Insurance Scam)
Elmezayen then collected more than $260,000 in insurance policies that he had taken out on his sons’ lives. He used the money to buy real estate in Egypt and a boat, according to DOJ.
“Fathers are supposed to protect their children but instead, Elmezayen drove his boys straight to their certain death in exchange for cash,” Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office Kristi Johnson said in a statement. “The defendant maliciously planned the death of his autistic sons and gave them virtually no chance of survival. The investigation that led to today’s sentencing won’t give them their lives, but affords them justice in death.”
During his trial, prosecutors alleged Elmezayen was abusive to his family and had money woes, according to ABC 7.
“He lined the car up to the one spot that wasn’t blocked and hit the gas, the kids buckled inside,” Assistant U.S. Attorney David T. Ryan told the jury during the trial, according to the report. “The plan was to kill them and make it look like an accident.”
Elmezayen also filed a suit against Los Angeles “where he tried to collect more money from the deaths by blaming the city for the loss of his children,” the judge said during the trial, according to the report.