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A California father has been sentenced to more than 200 years in federal prison for killing his two sons, who were both autistic, in an elaborate plot to defraud insurance companies out of more than $260,000.

United States District Judge John Walter handed Ali Elmezayen the maximum sentence of 212 years in federal prison, according to a Thursday news release from the Justice Department. The 45-year-old suspect was found guilty on four counts of mail fraud, four counts of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, and five counts of money laundering in a multiple-day trial in October 2019.

“He is the ultimate phony and a skillful liar…and is nothing more than a greedy and brutal killer,” said Walter.

“The only regret that the defendant has is that he got caught.”

In the years before he killed his children, Elmezayen purchased more than $3 million of life and accidental death insurance policies on his family members and himself through eight different companies between July 2012 and March 2013. He also did his research, spending afternoons and evenings on the phone with insurers to learn when exactly he could claim the millions in payouts without facing any investigations.

Less than two weeks after the deadline passed — 12 days after the two-year contestability period wrapped for the insurance policies — Elmezayen drove his car off a Port of Los Angeles wharf with is family members inside. He easily escaped the vehicle by swimming out the driver side window, as did his wife, who survived the April 2015 incident with the help of a fishermen.

Their two sons, ages 8 and 13, who both had autism, were buckled in and drowned before they could be reached by rescuers.

Elmezayen then collected more than $260,000 in insurance proceeds from Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance and American General Life Insurance on the accidental death insurance policies, prosecutors said. He used part of the insurance proceeds to purchase real estate in Egypt as well as a boat.

“Fathers are supposed to protect their children but instead, Elmezayen drove his boys straight to their certain death in exchange for cash,” said Kristi Johnson, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

“The defendant maliciously planned the death of his autistic sons and gave them virtually no chance of survival. The investigation that led to today’s sentencing won’t give them their lives, but affords them justice in death.”