Charges: Man Intentionally Caused 22 Car Crashes
He collected $56K in insurance money over 6 years
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2016 7:01 PM CST
Navid Monjazeb   (Salt Lake County Jail)

(Newser) – A Utah man is facing multiple felony charges after allegedly getting into nearly two dozen car accidents on purpose in order to collect the insurance money, KSL reports. Navid Monjazeb is accused of causing 22 crashes in and around Salt Lake City between 2010 and 2015, collecting $56,000 in insurance money in the process. "He's an opportunistic person, looking for opportunities to crash his vehicle into others or to position his vehicle in such a manner that he puts himself in a blind spot," ABC4 Utah quotes the director of the state's fraud division. According to the AP, the state launched a six-month investigation into Monjazeb after an insurance company noticed a pattern. On Tuesday, he was charged with 12 counts of insurance fraud and declared "a significant danger to the public," KSL reports.

After causing a crash, authorities say Monjazeb would try to intimidate his victims into paying him cash for the damage or signing a pre-written statement saying they were at fault, KSL reports. "He got out screaming that I had hit him and caused this huge accident," one victim tells ABC4. "You just assume that it's your fault because you're the one changing lanes." KSL reports it's unclear if Monjazeb ever got cash from his victims. And the AP notes he's only been charged in cases where investigators believe his car was damaged prior to the crash. According to ABC4, authorities say Monjazeb "would rig [his] vehicles so they'd fall apart when hit." He also allegedly damaged his car further following accidents to increase the insurance payout, KSL reports. He's facing charges of reckless endangerment in addition to insurance fraud.
 

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