Lawyers Plead Guilty in SoCal Car Insurance Fraud Ring

July 25, 2005

Two attorneys pleaded guilty Friday in connection with a Southern California insurance fraud ring that allegedly staged vehicle collisions and filed false insurance company claims, officials said.

Curtis Mitchell Shaw, 61, of Beverly Hills and Keith Darran Washington, 41, of Reseda were among 18 people charged in 2003 in connection with the so-called “Operation Rent & Wreck” ring. Most of the other defendants in the case have already entered pleas are serving time or awaiting sentencing.

Prosecutors say between 1993 and 2000, Shaw and Washington’s law office served as a clearinghouse for the staged collisions, netting the ring nearly $2.5 million.

Shaw, who has resigned from the state Bar of California, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, three counts of filing false insurance claims and charges of filing false tax returns between 1998 and 2000.

He faces up to three years in state prison when he is sentenced Oct. 18 in Los Angeles Superior Court, Deputy District Attorney Loren Naiman said Friday.

Shaw will also be ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution, Naiman said.

Washington, who continues to practice law, pleaded guilty to one count of filing fraudulent claims with insurers. He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 15 and faces up to a year in county jail. He will be ordered to pay $364,300 in restitution.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.