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Lawyer, Office Manager Held in Fraud

April 02, 1994

A Los Angeles attorney and his office manager were charged Friday with operating an automobile accident ring and laundering $4.6 million worth of insurance statements.

Attorney Brian Petrunich, 49, and Neil Naum Shehkter, 31, were arrested Friday after a yearlong investigation by the state Department of Insurance and the State Franchise Tax Board.

Petrunich is suspected of paying thousands of dollars to Shehkter for personal injury cases.

The two men also are suspected of money laundering by issuing phony client trust fund checks and cashing them at various banks and check-cashing businesses.

Each is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.

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