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EX-FILIPINO OFFICIAL, WIFE CHARGED IN INSURANCE FRAUD.

Byline: Troy Anderson Staff Writer

A former Northridge resident and onetime Philippine provincial governor faked the deaths of his mother-in-law and wife to illegally collect more than $150,000 on insurance policies, state Department of Insurance officials said Friday.

Eduardo Rodriguez, 61, a former governor of Quezon Province in the Philippines, was booked in the Los Angeles County jail June 4 on five counts of insurance fraud, two counts of grand theft and three counts of attempted grand theft.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges June 6, but after a preliminary hearing, a judge ruled Friday that he must stand trial on four counts of insurance fraud, one count of grand theft and all three counts of attempted grand theft. Bail was set at $2 million.

Rodriguez had been a fugitive from authorities and had lived outside the United States since 1985. He was brought back from the Philippine Islands this month by the U.S. Marshal's Office.

``I want to make it perfectly clear that no matter how long it takes, we will hold those who commit insurance fraud accountable for their crimes,'' said Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi.

The original case was filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office in 1985. State fraud investigators said Rodriguez and his wife, Imelda, filed a life insurance claim in 1984 declaring that Imelda's mother had died.

The couple collected $51,134 as sole beneficiaries of the policy. Investigators added that in 1985, Rodriguez filed additional claims stating that his wife had died. Multiple insurance claims were filed with four different insurers and Rodriguez was paid $100,000.

The total loss if all claims were paid would have been about $850,000. Subsequent investigation disclosed that both Imelda Rodriguez and her mother were alive at the time the insurance claims were filed.

Authorities said efforts are under way to extradite Imelda Rodriguez, 61, to the United States. She is charged with one count of insurance fraud.

Troy Anderson, (213) 974-8985

troy.anderson(at)dailynews.com
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 28, 2003
Words:335
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