NEW ORLEANS, La. (KLFY) – A Louisiana man has pled guilty after staging car crashes and filing fraudulent lawsuits.

Joesph Brewton, 56, of Houma pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, according to a press release from the Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Louisiana.

Brewton faces a maximum of five years imprisonment, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000, the press release said.

Court documents show that Brewton was a passenger in a staged vehicle collision in August 2015.

The press release said that he recruited friends and family members to participate in staged crashes with tractor-trailers on March 27, 2017, and May 11, 2017. The passengers in these crashes filed fraudulent lawsuits that falsely claimed that the tractor-trailers were at fault.

Through the scheme, Brewton caused a loss of about $392,742.77, according to the press release.

Sentencing is set for March 1, 2023.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Louisiana State Police and the Metropolitan Crime Commission assisted with the investigation.

The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria M. Carboni, Edward Rivera and Brandon S. Long, and Chief of the Financial Crimes Unit Brian M. Klebba.