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Wednesday, October 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Two more suspects sentenced to federal prison as part of insurance fraud scheme

UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 22, 2020

Two more defendants, Teresa A. Gonzalez, 63, of Otis Orchards, and Michael A. White, 40, of Las Vegas, were sentenced Tuesday to terms in federal prison by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rice at the Thomas S. Foley United States Courthouse, shown here in May. Both Gonzalez and White previously pleaded guilty as part of a scheme to defraud insurance companies in an investigation that also implicated Spokane developer Ron Wells. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Two more defendants, Teresa A. Gonzalez, 63, of Otis Orchards, and Michael A. White, 40, of Las Vegas, were sentenced Tuesday to terms in federal prison by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rice at the Thomas S. Foley United States Courthouse, shown here in May. Both Gonzalez and White previously pleaded guilty as part of a scheme to defraud insurance companies in an investigation that also implicated Spokane developer Ron Wells. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Two defendants tied to an insurance-fraud scheme that included Spokane developer Ron Wells have been sentenced to federal prison.

Teresa A. Gonzalez, 63, of Otis Orchards, and Michael A. White, 40, of Las Vegas, appeared for sentencing Tuesday before U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rice, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Rice sentenced Gonzalez to 10 months and White to 14 months in federal prison as part of a 101-count indictment against 22 defendants, including Wells. According to court records, the suspects staged a series of automobile, boating, stair-fall and pedestrian collisions that defrauded insurance companies of more than $6 million.

Investigators said Gonzalez staged a car crash in Spokane and received about $13,000 in proceeds. White was involved in four staged accidents that defrauded insurance companies out of $1,085,392 and he received about $50,000 worth of the proceeds, according to the news release.

The alleged leader of the scheme, William O. Mize, who went by 18 aliases and is the suspected ringleader of the alleged fraud, apparently fled and as of August was listed as “not present and in fugitive status.”

Wells previously pleaded guilty and is scheduled to appear Feb. 5 for sentencing.

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