A California man was sentenced to more than 200 years in prison on Thursday after drowning his two autistic sons by driving his car off a pier in order to collect on life insurance policies he had taken out on them.
Ali Elmezayen, 45, drove the family’s Honda sedan – with his ex-wife and two sons inside – off a wharf in San Pedro, south of Los Angeles, on Apr 9, 2015.
His sons, aged eight and 13, drowned but his ex-wife, Raba Diab, was saved by a fisherman who threw her a flotation device.
Elmezayen escaped through an open driver’s side window and swam to a ladder on the dock.
Following the deaths of his sons, Elmezayen, an Egyptian national, collected more than US$260,000 on insurance policies from two companies.
Authorities said Elmezayen transferred most of the money to Egypt and about US$80,000 was seized from his US account.
Elmezayen was convicted in October 2019 of federal charges of mail and wire fraud, identity theft and money laundering.
US district judge John Walter sentenced him to 212 years in prison and denounced what he called the “vicious and callous nature of his crimes”.
“He is the ultimate phony and a skillful liar,” Walter said. “The only regret that the defendant has is that he got caught.”
Elmezayen still faces state charges for the murder of his two sons and attempted murder of his ex-wife.