Calif. Trio Pleads Guilty to Auto Fraud Scheme

Three men pleaded guilty to multiple felony counts on Sept. 10 involving an automobile insurance fraud scam that was exposed during a three-year joint investigation by CDI, California Highway Patrol, National Insurance Crime Bureau, Franchise Tax Board and the California State Bar.

Turhan John Dominic Folse, 56,Michael Luther, DDS, 61, and Milton Ware, 59, were charged in relation to the investigation. Folse, of Marina Del Rey, reportedly acted as an attorney, settling automobile insurance claims. He is not licensed with the California State Bar. Investigators said Folse admitted committing automobile insurance fraud for over 18 years and to falsifying information with the aid of Luther. In the investigation, the medical reports prepared by Luther in all of the claims were virtually identical. Ware was a claimant in one of the claims and allegedly fraudulently assisted Folse in settling his claim.

Folse pleaded guilty to three felony counts of insurance fraud, two felony counts of identity theft, one felony count of grand theft, and two felony counts of failing to file taxes with the Franchise Tax Board. He was sentenced to 479 days in the county jail, $200 in restitution, three years of formal probation and the forfeiture of approximately $567,000.

Luther and Ware pleaded guilty to one felony count of insurance fraud each. Luther was sentenced to three years formal probation and restitution of $200. Ware was sentenced to time served, three years formal probation and restitution of $200. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case.