Federal prosecutors say a 26-year-old Russian man and accomplices staged at least a dozen Anchorage, Alaska, car crashes and collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages over two years.
The Anchorage Daily News reports Rustem Mukhametshin was arrested Wednesday as he attempted to leave Alaska.
He is charged with one count of wire fraud.
Mukhametshin was living in Anchorage on an expired student visa.
Prosecutors say he recruited other foreign students to help stage collisions. The charges say they used cars that had been in wrecks and were declared demolished but were rebuilt.
Prosecutors say Mukhametshin used 22 cars in the scams and received more than $200,000 in fraudulent claims from three insurance companies.
The wire fraud charge says Mukhametshin sent $209,109 to people in Russia.
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