A prominent plastic surgeon who commands fees of $500 an hour was arrested yesterday, along with his wife, on suspicion of receiving stolen art objects from the mansion of Sheik Mohammed AlFassi before it was destroyed by an arsonist last year.
Dr. Kurt Wagner, who practices in Beverly Hills, Calif., and his wife, Kathleen, were booked in downtown Los Angeles. He also was accused of insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud. The Wagners were released on $5,000 bond each.
Along with the Wagners, burglary detectives named Neal Krone, whom they described as a representative of the George Krone and Sons Auction Gallery in Los Angeles.
Krone, reportedly the son of the owner of the gallery, was accused in an arrest warrant of conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.
Yesterday's arrests came only a day after a former chauffeur of Sheik AlFassi was arrested by Beverly Hills police on suspicion of setting the Sheik's gaudy Beverly Hills mansion afire on Jan. 1, 1980.
The suspect, Michael Ivan Luterlof, 38, also known as Michael Lewis, is being held in lieu of $110,000 bail, as detectives continue to investigate the mansion fire and theft of at least $500,000 in property from it.
The 38-room stucco mansion attracted widespread attention when the sheik had it painted green, ordered pots of plastic flowers placed on the fence and had nude statues outside the mansion painted with anatomically accurate detail. The sheik moved away in 1979.
Investigators of the Los Angeles 'police Department's Burglary-Auto Theft Division disclosed yesterday that late last November an ivory boat belonging to Sheik Al-Fassi was recovered from the George Krone and Sons Auction Gallery.
According to police, Wagner had reported the boat as one of the items stolen from his home in a $225,000 burglary on March 21, 1980.
After search warrants were served last Thursday, detectives reported that they had recovered $50,000 worth of the sheik's property from the Wagner's home, the Krone gallery and an undisclosed location.
Police said that the 46-year-old surgeon had conspired to report a phony burglary, had Neal Kone dispose of the property and then collected nearly $200,000 from insurance companies.
Lt. Ron Lopez of the Los Angeles Police Department's burglary section said that 27 art objects and furniture belonging to Sheik Al-Fassi were taken out of the Wagner home.