Fugitive Tweets 'Catch Me If You Can' While On The Run, Is Promptly Caught Due To Tweet

from the please-don't-have-children dept

Dumb criminals and the internet make for a truly fun experience. Whether it's butt-dialing 911 while you're discussing your murder plot, getting nabbed from posting your own food porn, or bragging about that bank you robbed on YouTube, the intersection of criminality, stupidity and internet connectivity is a more humorous place than the NAACP headquarters on Paula Deen Appreciation Day. Idiotic bad guys never seem to cease providing us with entertainment, so here we go again with your dumb ass criminal report.

Wanda Podgurski of California really, really didn't care to work for a living, so she decided to pretend like she fell at her home in 2006 and then collected nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in disability claims from seven insurance agencies and the government. As she was collecting this money for the hardship of falling down, something I do every Saturday night around 2am, she was injuredly galavanting all over the world with her boyfriend.

During a time when she was allegedly disabled, Podgurski traveled to the Dominican Republic, New York, Seattle, Boston, Fort Lauderdale and other destinations, prosecutors said. Among her trips was a 16-day tour to China in 2008 with a boyfriend, prosecutors said.
She got caught, of course, arrested, and then freed on $500k bail during her lengthy trial. Which, of course, she failed to show up for, because participating in your own defense is a ton of freaking work and we already discussed how much Podgurski hates work. Instead, she decided an extended vacation in Mexico was in order. Convicted in absentia to 20 years in the clink, the California justice system was unfortunately unable to figure out where Wandering Wanda was. Until, that is, Podgurski decided to tweet:
Catch me if you can.

— Wanda podgurski (@wanda_podgurski)
You already know the rest of the story before I tell it to you, don't you? The Fugitive Task Force handed things over to the Computer And Technology Crime High-Tech Response Team, which then used the tweet to help locate our idiotic subject and win the shortest legal pissing match ever played out over social networking. She was arrested in Rosarito, Mexico, arraigned shortly thereafter, and D.A. Bonnie Dumanis appears to be taking the taunt into consideration in her prosecution.
“The defendant in this case was brazen in both the large-scale fraud she committed and the way she mocked the criminal justice system,” said Dumanis.
Enjoy your 20-plus years, Wanda. And try to survive prison as a 60 year old woman...if you can.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    Arthur Moore (profile), Jul 11th, 2013 @ 4:10pm


    Finally a case where the feds can point to how PRISM was actually useful in catching a fugitive.

    Wait, you mean they probably just got a warrant/subpoena?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2013 @ 6:28pm

    So, someone mind explaining how someone this stupid was able to defraud nearly $750,000 from a number of insurance companies (and the government, but that is easier to explain).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    St. Patrick, Jul 11th, 2013 @ 7:09pm

    > You already know the rest of the story before I tell it to you, don't you?

    Yup. In part because the headline gives it away. :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    Arthur Moore (profile), Jul 11th, 2013 @ 7:11pm


    My bet is that the government and insurance companies did not share data between each other. So she had multiple insurance companies that knew nothing about each other. Kind of like how in the past people would take out multiple loans using the same piece of property as collateral.

    The natural reaction is for insurance companies to share information, but that has it's own sticking points. Now the government/corporations all know who you're getting your insurance from, and what's covered.

    My guess is this is what actually happened, especially after someone got suspicious. Hello IRS? Of course, with Obamacare (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) all this information is automatically shared with the government. This makes future schemes more difficult to pull off.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2013 @ 7:16pm

    Something smells here. I agree she is wrong to slip out on her trial and has the getaway instincts of Thelma & Louise. But, she falls in her house and collects from seven insurance companies AND the gov't? Really?

    And being disabled doesn't mean you can't travel. I'm disabled and if I had 3/4 of a mil I would certainly be traveling.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2013 @ 7:56pm

    Re: Re:

    Defrauding the IRS can apparently be done by someone with a seventh grade education, no problem.

    https://crimedivas.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/woman-with-7th-grade-education-smart-enough- to-get-2-2-millions-from-irs/

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/irs-sent-46378040-refunds-23994-una uthorized-aliens-1-atlanta-address

    http://www.irs.gov/uac/Examples-of-Abusive-Return-Preparers-In vestigations-Fiscal-Year-2013

    I remember a case where this poor lady who was messing around with turbotax or something simply kept tinkering with the numbers until her refund check became something like a few million dollars. She didn't make nearly that much to make any such contributions or to have such a refund check, her refund check was way more than what she made yet somehow when she submitted her tax return the IRS wrote her a check for some absurd number before figuring out what happened.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2013 @ 8:06pm

    It's okay

    barry and his criminal horde won’t use all that metadata they’ve been collecting on you

    Well unless you make them that is

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jul 11th, 2013 @ 11:14pm

    Fugitive: 'Catch me if you can suckers!'
    Police: 'I'll take that bet!'

    Result: Do not pass go, do not collect $200, go straight to jail.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    Cixelsid (profile), Jul 12th, 2013 @ 1:07am

    Just desserts and all that but isn't 20yrs a bit excessive for insurance fraud?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2013 @ 2:27am


    There's a difference between being wheelchair-bound and getting out of it and running.

    Also, the Government and the insurance companies communicate about as well as a Swahili and an Alaskan.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Howard the Duck, Jul 12th, 2013 @ 10:32am

    Hope she writes a book

    Because I don't use twitter, and I don't want to work anymore either.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 12th, 2013 @ 11:04am


    It's trivially easy to perpetrate fraud like this. It's much more difficult to do it and not get caught.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    Jim P. (profile), Jul 12th, 2013 @ 2:45pm

    Re: Tax fraud

    Be glad it happens that way. IRS works on a "trust" basis and only checks things *after* you submit. There are countries in the world where you and *all* your records, bank statements and checkbook get to trot down to Government Central and spend a lovely day with a tax official doing your taxes. it combines all the joys of visiting any government office with the added thrill of an on the spot audit each and every year. And you will be there as long as it takes to make the official satisfied.

    Not only do major errors like this frequently get caught, the woman will likely face serious criminal prosecution and having all her accounts frozen while that goes on and intense scrutiny of every tax record she has filed since leaving the womb and every return she files well into the foreseeable future.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Jack, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 10:49am

    Internet Defense Attorney in Atlanta

    We strive to be different from other criminal defense firms. Our top priority is being there for you when you need us. If you are accused of a crime and the police are investigating you, time is of the essence. Every moment counts. We have a very high success rate when it comes to preventing criminal accusations from turning into formal charges and shutting down criminal investigations. We are able to do this because we move quickly, and we never stop working. Our criminal attorneys know the laws that surround all misdemeanors and felonies, and we handle all types of criminal cases: sex crimes, drunk driving, white collar crimes, drug crimes, federal crimes, fraud, violent crimes, theft crimes, molestation, embezzlement, probation violations, appeals, and juvenile cases. Please call our office today at 404-351-3000. Or visit us at http://www.AtlantaNotGuilty.com.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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