ATF

Sample Block


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Eastern District of Louisiana

www.justice.gov/usao/lae

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jim Letten, United States Attorney

Contact: Kathy English
(504) 680-3068
kathy.english@usdoj.gov

Three Men Sentenced in Murder Insurance Fraud and Arson

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – DAVID SAMUELS, age 44, a resident of New Orleans, JERMAINE SURTAIN, age 32, a resident of New Orleans, and CHARLES MOSS, age 36, a resident of Detroit, Michigan, were sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon for their roles in an murder insurance fraud and arson, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.

All three defendants were convicted by a federal jury after a 7-day trial of conspiracy to devise a scheme to defraud two life insurance companies by obtaining in 2003, fraudulent life insurance policies on Treyor August, the victim, and then participating in his murder in 2004.

SAMUELS was sentenced to 75 years imprisonment having been convicted of ten counts of mail and wire fraud relating to the life insurance and the attempt to collect on the life insurance; one count of use of fire to commit obstruction of justice; one count of use of fire to commit mail fraud, both involving the burning of his van weeks after the murder to cover up evidence; and the 2004 insurance fraud in getting comprehensive insurance coverage on the van the week after the murder. Additionally, Samuels was sentenced for the 2002 arson committed to obtain homeowners insurance proceeds and one count of making false statements to agents of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in 2008, when he denied knowing of the 2003 insurance policies.

SURTAIN was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment having been convicted of one count of use of fire to commit obstruction of justice in the burning of Samuels’ van in 2004. In addition to the term of imprisonment, Judge Lemmon imposed 3 years of supervised release following the term of imprisonment, during which time the defendant will be under federal supervision and risks an additional term of imprisonment should he violate any terms of his supervised release.

MOSS was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment having been convicted of one count of use of fire to commit obstruction of justice in the burning of Samuels’ van in 2004 and one count charging the 2002 arson committed to obtain homeowners proceeds. In addition to the term of imprisonment, Judge Lemmon imposed 3 years of supervised release following the term of imprisonment, during which time the defendant will be under federal supervision and risks an additional term of imprisonment should he violate any terms of his supervised release.

The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the New Orleans Police Department. The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tony Gordon Sanders, Michael E. McMahon and Harry W. McSherry, Jr.

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