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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Attorney Gets 10 Years in Insurance Fraud

August 30, 2000

LOS ANGELES — A former Beverly Hills lawyer who prosecutors said was the ringleader of an insurance fraud operation that often preyed on elderly victims was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in state prison, the district attorney's office said.

Superior Court Judge Lance Ito also ordered Manny Kreitenberg, 45, to pay restitution of $152,000 and fined him $25,000, Deputy Dist. Atty. Joseph Charney said.

Charney said other defendants include "street cappers" who staged collisions, two chiropractors and two employees of the Department of Motor Vehicles, who were accused of helping the others get fraudulent California identification cards and driver's licenses.

Two defendants still face trial, one is to be sentenced and the remaining defendants are serving sentences ranging from one year in county jail to two to five years in state prison. Among those serving prison terms is Robert Montoya, 46, a chiropractor from Monterey Park who is serving a two-year sentence. Montoya and Kreitenberg were tried together.

Charney said the charges involved a two-year period ending in early 1998 in which hundreds of collisions were staged and insurance claims filed. The stagers would brake in front of motorists, causing rear-end collisions. The defendants obtained medical reports and bills from the chiropractors to support fraudulent insurance claims, Charney said.

Kreitenberg, he said, made "several hundred thousand dollars from the criminal enterprise."

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