A California jury has convicted a Rancho Palos Verdes businessman and a Marina Del Rey attorney of operating a sophisticated auto insurance fraud ring that stole more than $3 million, the District Attorney’s office announced.
Deputy District Attorney Al Botello with the Auto Insurance Fraud Division said Solomon(cq) Morris Davis, 61, was found guilty of conspiracy and 20 counts of insurance fraud. The jury found co-defendant Robert Doran Belshaw, 56, guilty of multiple counts of money laundering and tax evasion.
Botello said it is the largest money loss fraud case ever prosecuted in California under a new program, the Organized Automobile Fraud Interdiction Activity Urban Grant. The state Department of Insurance and the California Franchise Tax Board conducted a two-year investigation that uncovered the ring.
Botello said Davis was the ring’s mastermind. He set up Total Medical Healthcare, a medical clinic in the mid-Wilshire area under his wife’s name, Dr. Judy Hunter-Davis. His wife, a physician, did not practice medicine at the clinic and was not a suspect in the case.
Under the reported scheme, the signatures of doctors who worked part-time at the clinic were forged on medical reports to substantiate inflated billings. Davis then recruited attorney Belshaw to allegedly run a law practice as a ruse to negotiate the fraudulent billings to the various insurance carriers. The charges alleged that from September 1999 to April 2003, the ring collected more than $3 million in fraudulent billings.
The jury deliberated 1½ days before returning a verdict. Belshaw was acquitted of insurance fraud, but convicted on five counts of money laundering and three counts of tax evasion, Botello said.
Davis faces up to 24 years in prison when he is sentenced April 8 by Judge Curtis Rappe. Belshaw faces up to 17 years in state prison.
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