News: 2010 Press Release
For Release: June 11, 2010
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Commissioner Poizner Announces Manhattan Beach Woman Arrested On $500,000 Bail For Alleged Disability Insurance Fraud
Insurance Commissioner Poizner today announced the arrest of a San Diego woman for allegedly filing fraudulent disability insurance claims. Wanda Podgurski (aka Wanda Lee Ann Plager), 57, of Manhattan Beach, 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.
"If you file fraudulent disability insurance claims, you will face serious consequences," said Commissioner Poizner. "CDI enforcement officials in San Diego and throughout the state will continue to make sure that insurance fraud perpetrators are brought to justice."
From 2004 through 2006, Podgurski purchased long term care insurance policies from Prudential Group Insurance, Kanawha Insurance Company, Unum Life Insurance Company and Metropolitan Insurance Company. She had disability income policies with Balboa Insurance Group and Reassure America Life Insurance Company. Beginning on August 30, 2006, Podgurski filed claims with all six insurance companies for benefits. 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. 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.
Wanda Podgurski allegedly filed fraudulent claims for disability insurance benefits from Balboa Insurance Group, Reassure America Life Insurance Company, Prudential Group Insurance, Kanawha Insurance Company, Unum Insurance Company, Metropolitan Life (MetLife) Insurance Company 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.
Commissioner Poizner oversees sixteen CDI Enforcement Branch regional offices throughout the state. Nearly 2,800 insurance fraud-related arrests have been made by CDI since Commissioner Poizner took office in 2007 - more arrests than have been made during any other three year period, under any previous insurance commissioner.
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