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BRIEFLY : MILLIONS AWARDED IN INSURANCE SUIT.

A jury awarded more than $12 million to a Porter Ranch couple who claimed their insurance company wrongfully denied their $150,000 claim for damages from an aftershock of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, lawyers said Friday.

Nancy and Jeffrey Pomerantz's attorney, Patricia Moore, said the couple had to move out of their Woodland Hills home after their claim was denied by Mid-Century Insurance Co., part of the Farmers Insurance Group.

After eight weeks of trial, the jury on Wednesday awarded the couple $260,000 in property and emotional damages and $12 million in punitive damages.

Attorneys for the insurance company could not be reached for comment.

- Daily News

Drug deal suspected in man's shooting

CANOGA PARK - An 18-year-old Northridge man shot four times during an apparent drug exchange remained in serious condition Friday afternoon, police said.

Matthew Clayton Amaral had prearranged to meet with a 16-year-old on Roscoe Boulevard about 8 p.m. Wednesday night, said Detective Rick Swanston of the Los Angeles Police Department's West Valley Division.

Detectives believe the meeting may have been drug-related, Swanston said.

The 16-year-old surrendered and was booked for attempted murder. He was detained at Sylmar Juvenile Hall.

- Daily News

Transportation zone preparations OK'd

A Metropolitan Transportation Authority committee gave unanimous approval this week to preparations under way for a San Fernando Valley transportation zone.

Nine cities and Los Angeles County are working together to create a Valley zone that would take over and run 34 bus routes now operated by the MTA. Proponents say local control can improve service and increase cost effectiveness.

The MTA board's committee on planning and programming recommended Thursday that the full board approve a preapplication, a step that paves the way for an actual application.

The panel also unanimously recommended that the agency's staff draw up a plan to pay for and build more than 410 miles of freeway sound walls within five years, in the Valley and other areas of the county.

- Daily News

County worker, others held in fraud

A county Department of Public Social Services worker and two Pacoima welfare recipients were arrested Friday on an indictment charging them with stealing more than $100,000 from the welfare system, prosecutors said.

Karina Lorena Hopewell, an eligibility worker, was arrested at her Palmdale home, said Deputy District Attorney John Allen.

Ruben Humberto Mattioli, 41, and his mother, Atanacia Mattioli, 67, were arrested in Pacoima.

Hopewell, 33, is charged with one count of embezzlement of government funds and eight counts of welfare fraud. She is being held in lieu of $180,000 bail.

Ruben Mattioli is charged with one count of embezzlement, seven counts of welfare fraud and two counts of perjury for getting driver's licenses in names other than his own, officials said.

- City News Service

Seniors lost millions in con, officials say

A Woodland Hills woman and a Westlake Village man were accused Friday of persuading more than 1,500 primarily elderly investors to pony up more than $40 million on bogus gas and oil ventures, authorities said.

Betty Ann Rubin, 51, of Woodland Hills and Mark D. Seigel, 50, of Westlake Village were named with Alexander L. Kahan, 46, of Los Angeles and John K. Judd Jr., 41, of Manhattan Beach in a 40-count indictment a federal grand jury handed down Thursday alleging money laundering, securities and mail fraud between 1991 and 1995.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara Scheper said the defendants sold limited partnerships that promised a 10 percent annual return as part of a massive Ponzi scheme.

The alleged fraud was operated out of KS Resources, Weststar Exploration Inc. and Lazar Frederick & Co. in Beverly Hills.

- Daily News
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 22, 1999
Words:606
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