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Father who killed his two autistic sons after driving them off a pier sobs in court

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A father accused of driving his two autistic sons off a Los Angeles pier and killing them so he could make a claim on an insurance policy wept in court as his trial for alleged fraud got underway.

Ali Elmezayen, 44, faces two counts of murder in the deaths of eight-year-old Abdelkarim and Elhassan, 13, and one count of attempted murder for his partner, Rabab Diab, who survived the incident.

Diab was rescued  by fishermen as she was unable to swim and she is a prosecution witness in the trial at a federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. 

Elmezayen is in federal custody on insurance fraud charges related to the 2015 pier plunge and is trial for insurance fraud began this week.

A father accused of driving his two autistic sons off a Los Angeles pier and killing them so he could make a claim on an insurance policy wept in court as his trial for alleged fraud got underway. Ali Elmezayen, 44, is seen weeping in a court sketch on Friday

A father accused of driving his two autistic sons off a Los Angeles pier and killing them so he could make a claim on an insurance policy wept in court as his trial for alleged fraud got underway. Ali Elmezayen, 44, is seen weeping in a court sketch on Friday 

A father accused of driving his two autistic sons off a Los Angeles pier and killing them so he could claim a life insurance policy wept in court as his trial for alleged fraud got underway. Ali Elmezayen is circled in red surrounded by paramedics

A father accused of driving his two autistic sons off a Los Angeles pier and killing them so he could claim a life insurance policy wept in court as his trial for alleged fraud got underway. Ali Elmezayen is circled in red surrounded by paramedics 

According to a criminal complaint, Elmezayen purchased several accidental death insurance policies providing more than $6 million in coverage on himself, his domestic partner and his children in 2012 and 2013. 

Elmezayen allegedly paid nearly $6,000 a year for these policies – even though he was earning less than $30,000 a year.

He  called at least two of the insurance companies to confirm they would not investigate claims made two years after the policies were purchased.

Elmezayen then collected more than $260,000 in insurance proceeds from American General Life Insurance and Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance on the accidental death insurance policies he had taken out on the children’s lives.

Federal prosecutor Alexander Wyman told the jury that the defendant beat Diab and phoned her parents in Egypt and that he threatened to send her home in a coffin.

He also told her that he was going to ‘bury her alive’ and that he wanted to take a second wife.

Federal prosecutors allege that he had plotted for over two years before launching his plan into action April 9, 2015.

In the insurance fraud trial, Defense attorney Christine O’Connor said that Elmezayen bought the policies to protect his family – that he had ‘under-the-table income to pay the premiums,’ ABC7 reported.

Elmezayen purchased several accidental death insurance policies providing more than $6 million in coverage on himself, his domestic partner and his children in 2012 and 2013, a criminal complaint states. He is pictured weeping in court on Friday

Elmezayen purchased several accidental death insurance policies providing more than $6 million in coverage on himself, his domestic partner and his children in 2012 and 2013, a criminal complaint states. He is pictured weeping in court on Friday 

He called at least two of the insurance companies to confirm they would not investigate claims made two years after the policies were purchased

He called at least two of the insurance companies to confirm they would not investigate claims made two years after the policies were purchased

The Defense told jurors to examine his wife’s history, claiming she was undocumented and had married  a homeless man to get legal status.

The homeless man had allegedly abused her when advised that marrying her would protect her from deportation.

Elmezayen’s defense team claimed that he was not cunning, but rather, ‘kind of a kook’ and ‘complicated,’ but that he was not a monster. 

Elmezayen faces a separate trial in Los Angeles Superior Court for the murder of his sons. 

Investigators said Elmezayen intentionally barreled off the edge of commercial fishing dock in San Pedro with his partner and two children inside the vehicle.

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Elmezayen’s car window was open, and he surfaced within 30 seconds and swam to a ladder on the pier. 

Diab was rescued by fishermen as she was unable to swim and she is a prosecution witness in the trial at a federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles

Diab was rescued by fishermen as she was unable to swim and she is a prosecution witness in the trial at a federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles

Ali Elmezayen, 44, faces two counts of murder in the deaths of eight-year-old Abdelkarim and Elhassan, 13, and one count of attempted murder for his partner, Rabab Diab

Ali Elmezayen, 44, faces two counts of murder in the deaths of eight-year-old Abdelkarim and Elhassan, 13, and one count of attempted murder for his partner, Rabab Diab

Elmezayen, a low-income Egyptian immigrant, was paying $6,000 in insurance policies to cover his family in the event of an accidental death. He later collected $260,000

Elmezayen, a low-income Egyptian immigrant, was paying $6,000 in insurance policies to cover his family in the event of an accidental death. He later collected $260,000

Diab, couldn’t swim, but authorities said she was rescued by a fisherman after surfacing and screaming: ‘My kids, my kids.’ 

‘The poor lady was screaming hysterically,’ said fisherman Ray Prince. ‘I thought she was going to drown.’

Their two boys, Abdelkarim and Elhassan, couldn’t swim and were strapped in child seats. Their lifeless bodies were pulled from the car by rescue divers.

Prosecutors allege Elmezayen has access to significant financial resources in his native country. 

A police mechanic found evidence that the brake pedal didn’t properly work, but couldn’t tell if that was the case before the tragedy or afterward because of salt water corrosion.

Authorities said Elmezayen has no legal status in the US and is said to have paid $6,000 a year to maintain the accidental death insurance policies he had purchased on his own

Authorities said Elmezayen has no legal status in the US and is said to have paid $6,000 a year to maintain the accidental death insurance policies he had purchased on his own

If convicted as charged, Elmezayen faces a possible maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole or death

If convicted as charged, Elmezayen faces a possible maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole or death

Prosecutors said Wednesday the charges are a result of further investigation.

If convicted in the murder case, Elmezayen faces life in prison without parole, or the death penalty, although prosecutors have not decided on that possibility.

A lawyer for Elmezayen could not be found. He will remain behind bars until his trial date.

If convicted as charged, Elmezayen faces a possible maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole or death. A decision on whether to seek the death penalty will be made at a later date.

In addition to posing as his partner in communications with the insurance companies without her knowledge, Elmezayen allegedly made several false statements.

He claimed that the cause of his children’s deaths was accidental and that he had no other insurance policies on his children. 

Elmezayen is also charged with with mail fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft for posing as his domestic partner in calls to the insurance companies.

 

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