When you're on the run, it's probably best not to taunt law enforcement. It's sort of like pouring Worcestershire sauce on your head as you flee a ravenous pit bull.

But that's what authorities say Wanda Lee Ann Podgurski did to San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis with this tweet in June:

And so the saying, Don't try this at home, kids, has rarely been more true.

D.A. Dumanis, whose Twitter account was the only one followed by @wanda_podgurksi at the time, announced this week that Podgurski was nabbed in Rosarito, Mexico over the holiday weekend.

Yep, a fugitive task force collared her in Baja on the 4th of July, the D.A.'s office announced.

Podgurski, a onetime Manhattan Beach resident, was convicted in absentia June 21 of defrauding six insurance companies out of $664,555.15 after claiming a fall at home meant she could no longer work.

Prosecutors, however, submitted evidence that the 60-year-old was still running errands and even vacationing.

Credit: San Diego District Attorney's office

Credit: San Diego District Attorney's office

The San Diego D.A.'s office says that, while working as a $44,000-salary Amtrak employee in San Diego, Podgurski upped her employment disability coverage to the tune of $60,000 per year in premiums before claiming she couldn't work.

The payout potential on all those policies was a whopping $40,000 per month, prosecutors said.

So was it her Twitter account that gave Podgurski away? A D.A.'s spokesman said he couldn't tell us how they tracked her down.

Prosecutors did say they enlisted the help of SoCal's multi-agency Computer and Technology Crime High-Tech Response Team. Ultimately, though, it was federal authorities who grabbed Podgurski in Mexico.


The defendant in this case was brazen in both the large-scale fraud she committed and the way she mocked the criminal justice system. Law enforcement, and in particular the U.S. Marshals and Fugitive Task Force, did a great job tracking the defendant down and taking her into custody.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.