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Court Set to Sentence Podgurski for Insurance Fraud Scam Conviction

The former Encinitas resident is looking at more than 20 years in state prison after bilking more than $650,000 for fake injuries.

In addition to insurance fraud and grand theft from the Amtrak Railroad Retirement Board, the Wanda Lee Ann Podgurski was also convicted of perjury, tax evasion and a white-collar enhancement involving the theft of more than $500,000.
In addition to insurance fraud and grand theft from the Amtrak Railroad Retirement Board, the Wanda Lee Ann Podgurski was also convicted of perjury, tax evasion and a white-collar enhancement involving the theft of more than $500,000.

A woman who fled to Mexico after being convicted in an insurance and disability fraud scam in San Diego was scheduled to be sentenced at the downtown courthouse Tuesday.

Wanda Lee Ann Podgurski, 61, pleaded guilty Nov. 1 to failing to appear in court while on bail and faces two years and eight months in state prison in addition to the 20 years and four months she received in absentia for the fraud scam.

While on the lam for several months last year, the defendant taunted District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis on Twitter, posting "Catch me if you can." She was later arrested in Rosarito and returned to San Diego in July.

A year ago, Podgurski was convicted of 29 felony counts related to faking injuries and collecting payments of more than $650,000 from insurance companies. Authorities said she used the money to travel around the world.

Podgurski was out of custody on $500,000 bail during her two-month trial when she failed to show up to hear the verdict read.

—City News Service

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