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Probe: June 27, 2001

June 27, 2001

QUESTION: I saw a story in a Spanish- language newspaper saying the state Department of Insurance is looking for victims of an insurance agency that sold fake policies to hundreds of Californians, mostly Hispanics. What's that all about? Does that have anything to do with the Oscar Padilla case? — Uneasy Hispanic, Calexico

No, that was a totally different matter. You're referring to Border Pacific Insurance Services, a San Diego insurance agency.

State investigators said Border Pacific Insurance sold insurance policies but never bothered to pay for the coverage with insurance carriers. The buyers were provided with "proof of insurance" cards but remained uninsured.

The agency's illegal activities left hundreds of unsuspecting consumers without valid automobile liability insurance, according to the state Department of Insurance.

Three people, including Border Pacific's owner, were convicted. Two were sentenced last week to prison terms.

Owner Ronald Allen Prasky, 31, was sentenced to seven years for his part in the scam. His office manager, Jesus Antonio Lopez, 32, drew a four-year term.

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Prasky's wife, Mylena Munguia-Prasky, was sentenced to three years probation plus 480 hours of community service.

QUESTION: When my daughters were toddlers their mother left me and took the girls with her. I haven't seen them since. We were living in Niland at the time. That was 25 years ago.

Their mother moved often. One of the girls called my mother in Woodland Hills a few months ago and left an El Centro phone number. When my mom tried to call the number, it had been disconnected.

I am back in Niland trying to find my daughters or some of her relatives but I can't find any of them.

Please see if any of your readers know Carla or Elizabeth Olegario. They may have married and have new names or they may be using their mother's maiden name, Jones.

Their mother, Betty Jones, had two uncles, Sylvester and Tom Jones, living in Calipatria but they are gone. — Searcher, Niland

Goodness there are a lot of lost people these days as everybody struggles to pull remnants of families back together.

OK readers, if you know anything about these people, call David Olegario or his friend Cheryl at 359-0858, or reach Cheryl at work at 339-9443. You also can call us on our PROBE line at 337-3448. Leave a message on our voice mail.

QUESTION: I am pastor of Westmorland Pentecostal Church. We're putting together a musical program at the church.

We bought a CD/cassette player at Discount Stereo. We understood it had a year's warranty. It wasn't cheap. We paid $199 for it.

When we opened the box at home we found a sticker on the back of the equipment that said, "refurbished." There is no warranty.

We took the player back to the store in Brawley. They offered us another stereo but when we opened it, another sticker said, "refurbished — no warranty."

The clerk said, "Don't worry. We'll take care of the warranty service." He wrote that on the ticket. I am worried. — Pastor Bill, Westmorland

You didn't ask for your money back so we talked to Fina, owner of Discount Stereo, about your concern with the warranty.

She said she would write you a letter spelling out your warranty in concrete terms. You can pick up the letter at the Brawley store, she said.

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