Calif. Woman Arrested for Alleged Disability Insurance Fraud

June 14, 2010

A San Diego woman has been arrested for allegedly filing fraudulent disability insurance claims, the California Department of Insurance reported. Wanda Podgurski (aka Wanda Lee Ann Plager) of Manhattan Beach, Calif., was arrested at her home and booked in the Los Angeles County Jail on $500,000 bail. Podgurski was charged with 38 felony counts by the San Diego District Attorney’s Office on May 26, 2010.

According to CDI, from 2004 through 2006, Podgurski purchased long term care insurance policies from Prudential Group Insurance, Kanawha Insurance . Unum Life Insurance Co. and Metropolitan Insurance Co. She had disability income policies with Balboa Insurance Group and Reassure America Life Insurance Co. Beginning on Aug. 30, 2006, Podgurski filed claims with all six insurance companies for benefits, CDI said. She also filed a disability claim with her employer, Amtrak.

Podgurski allegedly claimed she had fallen down the stairs at her home and had injured her back, hip and leg and was unable to work and care for herself, according to CDI. She claimed she needed daily care and hired various caregivers to care for her in her home. An investigation revealed that Podgurski was allegedly not incapacitated and could perform activities of daily living without the aid of a caregiver, CDI said.

Wanda Podgurski allegedly filed fraudulent claims for disability insurance benefits from Balboa Insurance Group, Reassure America Life Insurance Co., Prudential Group Insurance, Kanawha Insurance Co., Unum Insurance Co., Metropolitan Life (MetLife) Insurance Co. and Sickness Benefits for Railroad Employees, United States Railroad Retirement Board, when she reported she was unable to work and care for herself. Podgurski received $626,395.15 in disability and long term care benefits from 2006 through 2009.

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting this case. Podgurski’s arraignment is pending.

Source: CDI

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