Woman Charged with 40 Counts of Ins. Fraud, Theft, Arson

October 18, 2002

Marcia Johnson, 42 , of Alpine, recently pleaded not guilty to charges of insurance fraud, burglary, grand theft, theft from an elder and arson, in the case of a 71-year-old missing man, according to the Inland Valley Voice.

Johnson allegedly took over 71-year-old Jack Irwin’s Mt. Baldy home after she reported him missing in Sept. 1999, claiming he left to visit the Space Needle in Seattle. A year later, Irwin’s cabin was damaged in a fire, and Johnson, along with her friend Judy Gellert, 51, who was also arrested on the same 40 counts as Johnson. Prosecutors claim Johnson and Gellert collected on Irwin’s insurance policy.

Johnson and Gellert allegedly embezzled approximately $250,000 from Irwin’s bank accounts and insurance policy payouts.

A murder charge is expected to be filed on both women, who are suspected of Irwin’s death, even though his body has not yet been found.

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