Beverly Hills Lawyer Sentenced for Reported Fraud

June 21, 2002

A California lawyer accused of scheming to sink a yacht of the coast of Italy was sentenced to 7 and-a-half years in prison June 18 by U.S. District Judge Lourdes Baird, according to the Associated Press.

Rex DeGeorge, of Beverly Hills, was also ordered to pay $2.8 million to Cigna Property and Casualty Insurance Company as restitution for what the company spent in suing DeGeorge to overturn the $3.5 million insurance policy it had issued for the yacht, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Eileen Decker.

Prosecutors alleged that DeGeorge purchased a 76-foot yacht in 1992, and then used a string of false sales transactions to increase its insurance value. DeGeorge and his co-conspirators then allegedly attempted to sink the yacht off the coast of Naples by cutting holes in the hull, but the boat was only partly sunken. The Italian Coast Guard rescued the trio at sea.

In March, DeGeorge was convicted on three counts of mail fraud, seven counts of wire fraud and five counts of lying to a court hearing.

DeGeorge’s alleged co-conspirator, Paul Ebeling, of St. Louis, was sentenced last week to jail time, a $40,000 fine, and community service after pleading guilty to federal charges in the case.

Another alleged co-conspirator, Gabriel Falco, of Amagansett, N.Y., was sentenced to two years of probation after pleading guilty.

DeGeorge had allegedly lost three other yachts at sea, and collected nearly $500,000 in insurance claims.

Topics Fraud

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