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:
Catch me if you can.
— Wanda podgurski (@wanda_podgurski) June 6, 2013
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.
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.
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