So far as criminal behaviour goes, Wanda Podgurski’s crime was pretty dumb. She skipped bail in January while on charges of insurance fraud, and taunted authorities with a series of tweets, starting on June 5 with “Catch me if you can” to the District Attorney’s office in San Diego California. Another tweet read “Help find me before I con anyone else”. She also linked to two stories about her evasion of the authorities.
The authorities finally caught up with and she was arrested on July 4 in Rosarito Beach, Mexico – only 15 miles south of San Diego. She had been tried in her absence in June and sentenced to more than 20 years in jail.
The 60 year old former Amtrak employee defrauded 6 different insurance companies in August 2006, claiming that injuries sustained in her home were so severe that she had to employ a care assistant. This was not the case though, as private investigators connected with the case saw her climb stairs and drive a car. Bonnie Dumanis, San Diego’s District Attorney said Podgurski received $664,555 in fraudulent disability payments.
“This was an extreme case, but any level of disability fraud ultimately increases insurance costs for everyone,” said Dumanis. “Our Disability and Healthcare Insurance Fraud Program investigates and prosecutes fraudulent medical and disability claims and policies. In addition to holding defendants accountable for their crimes, we’re also protecting the public from rising healthcare costs due to fraud.”
The District Attorney’s office are keeping quiet about how they found Wanda, but did reveal that information from her Twitter account was given to its Computer And Technology High Tech Response Team – aka CATCH.
And naturally, CATCH her is what they did.