THE OREGONIAN-SLAIN CORRECTIONS BOSS’S WIDOW BINGTA FRANCKE CHARGED WITH THEFT

Posted: March 2, 2008 in News Articles
Paper: Oregonian, The (Portland, OR)
Title: SLAIN CORRECTIONS BOSS’S WIDOW BINGTA FRANCKE CHARGED WITH THEFT
Date: March 24, 2001

Summary: Bingta Francke is accused of collecting $90,000 in widow’s
insurance benefits after remarrying

The widow of slain Oregon corrections director Michael Francke is
charged with grand theft in Fresno, Calif., for allegedly collecting
insurance benefits as a widow after she remarried.

Bingta Francke is accused of collecting about $90,000 while
representing to an insurance carrier that she was single, according to the
insurance company and a prosecutor in Fresno. In fact, she married twice since
her 42-year-old husband was stabbed to death outside his Salem office
in 1989. One of the marriages was annulled.The insurer is Salem-based
Saif Corp., the publicly owned workers’ compensation insurance carrier
that provides benefits when a worker dies or is injured on the job. The
corporation insures all state workers.

Although there are some widow benefits available after a remarriage,
the prosecutors say Francke received $90,000 beyond what she was entitled
to receive.

The grand theft charge was filed in April in Fresno County Superior
Court. The complaint alleges that Francke improperly received payments
from June 1, 1991, through Dec. 6, 1999.

The case is in court in Fresno County because that’s where Bingta
Francke lived at the time and where the misrepresentation occurred, Deputy
District Attorney John Savrnoch said.

Francke’s attorney, Philip Setrakian, said that although errors might
have occurred, "Bingta is not a criminal and should not be prosecuted."

"Our hope is that this will be resolved without court intervention," he
said, referring to efforts to repay the contested money. "This woman
suffered enough."

He said that Bingta Francke’s first marriage after Michael Francke’s
death was annulled for reasons unrelated to insurance issues. She is
separated from and in the process of divorcing her second husband. "She has
really just been put through the wringer in many ways," Setrakian
said.

An ex-convict and drug dealer, Frank Gable, was arrested and charged
about 15 months after the killing and is serving a life sentence in a
prison in the Southern California community of Calipatria. Prosecutors
theorized that he was breaking into Francke’s car when Francke confronted
him.

After her husband’s death, Bingta Francke, then 30, stayed out of the
controversy that raged before and after Gable’s arrest over possible
suspects in the case and conspiracy theories. Instead, she returned home
to California with the couple’s young son.

Although an Oregon judge denied Gable’s request for a new trial earlier
this year, he granted the inmate’s request for DNA testing.

Testing of fingernail scrapings and blood-saturated clothing showed
Francke’s DNA on everything except one sample taken from an inner coat he
was wearing the day he was stabbed. The report said the mystery DNA had
similarities to his and suggested testing his son.

Bingta Francke agreed to have Trey Francke, now 13, tested. The results
are pending.

Meanwhile, although Bingta Francke was charged with grand theft, she
has not been arraigned on the charge or entered a plea. The next
scheduled court date is April 20.

In California, any theft involving more than $400 can be charged as
grand theft. If convicted, the maximum potential sentence would be four
years in prison.  Do you have news of Marion, Polk and southwestern
Yamhill counties? You can reach Cheryl Martinis at 503-399-8540 or by e-mail
at cheryl@open.org.

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Comments
  1. Ex-Salem says:

    What is up with:"Although an Oregon judge denied Gable’s request for a new trial earlierthis year, he granted the inmate’s request for DNA testing.Testing of fingernail scrapings and blood-saturated clothing showedFrancke’s DNA on everything except one sample taken from an inner coat hewas wearing the day he was stabbed. The report said the mystery DNA hadsimilarities to his and suggested testing his son.Bingta Francke agreed to have Trey Francke, now 13, tested. The resultsare pending."I don’t remember that, but then I did not read the Oregonian. I would not have believed that anyway. She might have hired someone, but not do it herself, and take the son with her. Now if he would have been "accidentally"shot with one of the many guns he had at home. I would have picked her as the #1 suspect.

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