Jaw-Dropping Claims Help Bust Alleged Scam

August 27, 2001

An eight-month joint investigation conducted by investigators from the CDI Criminal Investigations Branch’s Fraud Division, the California Highway Patrol and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) resulted in the felony arrests of Turhan Folse, 54, aka Turhan Quinlan, aka John Singleton, of Marina Del Rey, and six other suspects in the Los Angeles and Riverside County areas. Search warrants were issued at 11 locations, including residences of suspects, medical offices, and bank accounts. Folse’s bail was set at $1,000,000.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Auto Insurance Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case. If convicted, each could face up to five years in state prison and/or a maximum fine of $50,000.

Investigators allege that Folse created a fraudulent insurance scam ring by posing as an attorney, staging automobile accidents and enhancing damage to vehicles involved in accidents. Folse, who is not licensed to practice law in California, allegedly misled insurance companies by posing as an attorney for a law practice named Westcoast Litigation.

According to investigators, Folse ran a bifurcated insurance fraud scam. One component of his alleged operation was to stage automobile collisions and have medical professionals create false medical reports. Folse also dealt with real collisions referred to him by friends or relatives. From these collisions, Folse allegedly enhanced property damages to vehicles in order to legitimize embellished medical reports.

The NICB identified 32 claims from 1998 to 2000 in which Westcoast Litigation, or Folse, represented claimants of automobile accidents. Six of these alleged fraudulent claims involved purported treatment of jaw-related injuries by Dr. Michael Luther, DDS, 58, who was also arrested for his alleged participation in the fraud scam. The total settlement paid out on these jaw-related claims was more than $126,000. The remaining claims involved the alleged treatment of soft tissue injuries. These claims settled for $241,000. Investigators believe this is only the tip of the iceberg, as the investigation continues in an effort to identify further suspects.

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Insurance Journal West August 27, 2001
August 27, 2001
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