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Glendale Attorney Faces New Charges In Alleged Insurance Fraud

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) —  Nine new criminal charges were filed Wednesday against a Glendale attorney first charged in October 2009 in a case involving an auto insurance fraud ring that staged auto accidents.

John Akopian — who is awaiting a May 4 hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to require him to stand trial on 38 counts — was charged with an additional nine counts of insurance fraud, according to Deputy District Attorney Greg Alker.

The 39-year-old attorney is believed, along with other lawyers and chiropractors, to have been an associate of Alexander Igor Gutman, 49, of Sherman Oaks, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Gutman pleaded guilty to 15 counts of insurance fraud and is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 15.

The new charges coincide with the arrests of 10 people in Glendale, Los Angeles, Compton, Long Beach and Hollywood who are accused of conspiring with Akopian to defraud an insurance company of more than $74,000 through staged accidents, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

 (©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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