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Briefs From Around the Region

first_imgLOS ANGELES Blue Shield is sued by state The state sued Blue Shield on Thursday, accusing it of canceling health coverage for sick people to avoid paying their medical bills. The suit seeks $12.6 million in fines while contending the insurer committed more than 1,200 violations of claims-handling laws and regulations, resulting in more than 200 people losing their coverage after they submitted claims. Calling the star witness’s testimony “an abomination,” a federal judge has acquitted a Valencia hedge fund manager and his mother-in-law of obstruction charges. U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson said Thursday that the government didn’t provide sufficient evidence that Keith Gary Gilabert, 37, and Hiromi Seele, 65, stood in the way of an investigation into a land sale. Gilabert and Seele were charged with ordering mortgage broker Bradley Gerszt to lie to the FBI. The judge called Gerszt’s testimony “maybe the worst I’ve ever seen.” LOS ANGELES 5 plead not guilty to plot Five people believed to be members or associates of the Mexican Mafia pleaded not guilty Thursday in Los Angeles to charges stemming from an alleged plot to murder another reputed gang member. Alleged ringleader Maria Dolores Llantada, 43, of La Puente; George Bravo, 40; David Shahagun, 26; Yvonne Montes, 30; and Angelita Martinez, 30, were arraigned in Los Angeles Superior Court before Commissioner Henry J. Hall. A sixth defendant, Anthony Palacios, 30, entered a not- guilty plea Wednesday. The defendants are accused of conspiring to murder Rafael Gonzalez-Munoz Jr. Authorities say Llantada ran the gang’s day-to-day activities in parts of La Puente and Norwalk and nearby areas in place of her husband, who is behind bars. LOS ANGELES `Sahara’ author is back in court Seven months after a jury directed Clive Cussler to pay $5million in damages to a film production company, lawyers for the novelist were in court Thursday seeking $8.5 million the author claims he is owed. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John P. Shook took the matter under submission, saying he may have a ruling in 10days. “I took some notes during the arguments and I also want to review some of the exhibits,” Shook said. After a 31/2-month trial, a jury on May 15 found Cussler, 76, breached a contract and committed fraud in his dealings with Crusader Entertainment, which financed production of the movie version of his novel “Sahara.” – From news services 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champThe move against Blue Shield marks the first time the Department of Insurance has taken legal action against an insurer over its cancellation practices. Blue Shield responded that the state had found minor claims-handling mistakes caused by human error that did not involve improper cancellations. LOS ANGELES Judge acquits 2, blasts testimony last_img

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