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January 27, 2000     Beverly Hills Weekly
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January 27, 2000
 

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Step 4 - Later in October 1992, Ebeling took out insurance on the yacht on behalf of the Polaris Corporation, listing its purchase price as over $3.6 million. A $3.5 million policy was purchased through Cigna Property and Casualty Insurance Company to insure the yacht against sinking, among other things. INSURANCE TECHNICALITIES More notably however, Cigna also issued insurance to Inbanco's security interest in the boat. Under this policy, Inbanco could collect the insurance benefits even if Polaris was deemed ineligible to collect any money due to fraud or intentional sinking. From Cigna's point of view, Inbanco should not be held responsible for the potential misdeeds of another corporation such as Polaris. Of course at the time, Cigna did not know that the two companies were actually controlled by the same individuals. The end result of this four step plan was to boost the stated value of the yacht from $1.9 million to over $3.6 million and to conceal the true identity of an otherwise unin- surable owner. DeGeorge might not have been able to insure a $1.9 million dollar yacht. After all, he had already lost three previous ships. However, the insurance industry would gladly issue coverage to a yacht owned by a corporation with a spotless record when it came to shipping accidents. Additionally, a regal $3.6 million luxury yacht, yields higher pre- mium payments than some dinghy worth a mere $1.9 million. On November 7, 1992, DeGeorge and Ebeling took their new yacht dubbed the "Principe di Pictor" on its maiden voyage off the coast of Italy. DeGeorge and Ebeling were joined on their trip by a third party named Gabriel Falco. WHO'S TELLING THE TRUTH? According to the Department of Justice, DeGeorge, Ebeling and Falco proceeded to cut holes in their boat which was purchased for $400,000 but insured for $3.5 million. According to the defendants, their yacht was hijacked by three drug runners led by a "Captain Libovich." Captain Libovich and company purportedly shut the sailors in a cabin, cut holes in the yacht, then sped away in a speedboat because they feared that they would soon be caught by the Italian Coast Guard. DeGeorge, Ebeling and Falco then managed to escape from the cabin and abandoned their sinking ship using lifeboats. The three men were sn rescued by the Italian Coast Guard and told their story of Captain Libovich to the authorities. In February 1993, Ebeling wrote a letter to Cigna insurance detailing the story about the drug runners and claimed that the yacht was a "total loss." The ship itself did not completely sink, but it was in bad enough shape as to render it unusable. The following month, Ebeling reiterated the story to Cigna's attorneys under oath while being questioned about the insurance claim. Before you knew it, Inbanco Ltd. was telling Cigna to fork over $3 million for the yacht's loss. With facts like these, even a rookie insurance claim adjuster might be a tad suspicious. The case was assigned to Cigna claims adjuster Gary Bayer who had over 13 years of experience at the time. According to Bayer, there were several red flags on this claim when he saw it. "It was a brand new policy on its maiden voyage. With that much money, you knew something was wrong," Bayer told the Beverly Hills Weekly. After its investigation, Cigna not only refused to pay any benefits, but also filed a law- suit to rescind the policy based on allegations that DeGeorge and Ebeling made signif- icant misrepresentations in regards to their insurance applications for the Polaris Pictures Corporation. Bayer claims that DeGeorge still owes the insurance company $2.7 million in fees and fines stemming from the lawsuit. It may soon get a chance to collect some of that amount since DeGeorge's Beverly Hills estate is scheduled to be sold at a public auction next week. The sale of the estate will first go to satisfy an estimated total debt of $427,000 -- iron- ically, it's about the same amount of the original down payment of the "Principe di lictor." II WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON INSURANCE SCAMS? Send us an e- marl at editor@bhweekly.com In the best Italian Fashion! Served your way! Charles Perry, L.A. Times "They put on quite a performance at this little culinary theater...l can heartily recommend it!" Elmer Dills, L.A. Dining Critic Patio Service Take Out & Delivery Catering on Request For Offices and Homes If you don't see it on the menu ask for id Different Specials Every Night Sicilian Meatloaf Veai Stew Seafod Pasta Fresh Fish Veal Ossobuco 235 S. La Cienega Blvd. 310.652.5992 fax 310.652-5993 Renew gour fictitious business statement at the lowest cost; The Culeer Citg news offers fictitious business statements for as low as $60! For forms and information, call or visit our branch office at the Bevedg Hills II/eeldg: 140 S. Beued9 Ddue, Suite 201 In  Itlilsltire end Chorleullle 6eeed9 IIIIls, a190212 310.887-0788 make ack or moaej order pavane to  "Cees cemmn new. The Culuer CI news is NJudicoted for the County olLos njeles, imrsuant to Case 3154529 m march 24,1980. January 27-February 2, 2000 11