Worldwide Hunt Ends On St. Lucia

August 9, 2000

A fugitive San Jose, Calif. couple who disappeared nearly seven months ago after allegedly defrauding 700 insurance customers of $10.3 million, are in a Puerto Rican detention center today following their capture at a hideaway on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that Robert Kent Morgan, 37, and Kimberly J. Morgan, 36- who prosecutors say carefully crafted false identities for themselves, their two children and a nanny before they fled- already had set up a web marketing business on the island before authorities there arrested them on a $10 million fugitive warrant.

Although the capture of the Morgans ends one of the county’s most high-profile fugitive cases, the fate of insurance customers they left behind is unclear. Preliminary investigation shows the Morgans probably spent most of the missing money before they were arrested and jailed, authorities said.

The Morgans were deported Saturday on charges that they entered the island under false pretenses. They were taken to a federal detention center in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where they await a hearing to extradite them to Santa Clara County. Puerto Rico is a U.S. commonwealth, and Lowney expects the extradition to go quickly.

According to the Mercury-News report, Robert Morgan is charged with seven felony theft counts for “allegedly issuing hundreds of bogus insurance policies to small firms and pocketing the premiums, defrauding insurance and premium financing companies and pocketing the investments of individuals who put money into annuities offered by the Morgan firm.”

A decision on whether Kimberly Morgan will be charged in the insurance case awaits further investigation according to the report. The couple operated their insurance agency in South San Jose from 1987 until the state Department of Insurance shut it down in September. In December, after the Morgans were confronted with investigation findings, the couple begged the prosecutor to let them spend the holidays with their families, promising they would surrender the next month. They reneged on that promise Jan. 14.

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