A Los Angeles jury found guilty an illegal alien from Egypt guilty of charges stemming from the deaths of his two autistic sons after he drove off a pier in April 2015.
Prosecutors claim that 45-year-old Ali Elmezayen planned and carried out what looked like an accidental crash into the ocean off of a fishing dock at the Port of Los Angeles.
His two severely autistic sons, 13-year old Elhassan and 8-year old Abdelkrim, drowned.
Also in the car was the mother of the two children, Rehab Diab, but despite not knowing how to swim, she was survived the crash with a help of fishermen.
"He lined the car up to the one spot that wasn't blocked and hit the gas, the kids buckled inside," Assistant U.S. Attorney David T. Ryan said. "The plan was to kill them and make it look like an accident."
The jury found him guilty of aggravated identity theft, money laundering, mail and wire fraud. He also faces capital murder charges in a separate state trial.
Prosecutors accused him of abusing the boys' mother and threatening to kill her. Although they were very poor, Elmezayen was able to pay for numerous life insurance policies on the boys and their mother for two years.
The family received $2,500 a month from the state to care for the autistic children.
Jurors were played recordings of the defendant calling insurance companies to confirm that no investigation would be conducted after two years of the policies being in place. The ocean crash that took his children's lives occurred two years and two days after the last policy was purchased.
A lawyer for Elmezayen argued that the deaths were an accident and that he suffered from hypochondria and anxiety about the future, which explained the numerous life insurance policies.
Diab also testified that Elmezayen forced her to marry a homeless man in order to get legal status in the United States.