Someone has stolen $11,300 out of an attempted $41,100 from the late actress Rose Marie’s estate following the death of the beloved entertainer in December, Variety has learned exclusively. The identity thief withdrew the money from the “Dick Van Dyke Show” star’s account after acquiring the late actress’ and her daughter’s personal information, including their phone and Social Security Numbers in early January.
In the days surrounding her mother’s funeral on Jan. 9, Georgiana Guy-Rodrigues learned of multiple attempts to hack into the Rose Marie estate, of which Guy-Rodrigues is the sole proprietor. On Jan. 7 and Jan. 8, the hacker succeeded in cashing five separate checks for $2,400, $2,500, $2,400, $2,000, and $2,000, in addition to two attempted withdrawals of $21,800 and $8,000, which were both returned, she said.
“It was probably that because of my mother’s passing and the amount of press that was done on it that he probably thought he could get into the account, which is what he did,” Guy-Rodrigues said.
Guy-Rodrigues thinks the thief targeted the account after the daughter “transferred a substantial amount of money into the joint checking account” to cover funeral expenses including flowers, security, mortuary and church bookings. In the time following her mother’s funeral, Guy-Rodrigues and her assistant made stops at the bank and police department to look into response options.
“It really didn’t give me time to really grieve because I got hit with everything,” Guy-Rodrigues said. “There really wasn’t anybody else that could handle all of this.”
While Chase Bank quickly covered the total damages, Guy-Rodrigues struggled to persuade bankers and law enforcement to explore the case further. Because the money withdrawn amounted to less than $20,000, the LAPD told her the case was unlikely to qualify for an investigation.
“It’s frustrating because, I said, it’s quite obvious that this guy’s going to basically do it again to somebody else,” Guy-Rodrigues said.
By reaching out to individual detectives within the LAPD, Guy-Rodrigues was able to get the case picked up. As far as she’s aware, however, no progress has been made as far as catching the thief, despite knowing multiple purchases were made, including a new car, and illegal acts such as assuming her identity and rerouting her cell phone’s voicemail box so that all incoming calls came to his personal phone.
According to Detective Luis Bravo, the LAPD officer handling the case, the investigation is “ongoing, and no suspect has been identified.” Bravo is reviewing bank statements and transactions in an effort to link them to a suspect. Guy-Rodrigues is convinced that had she not taken action herself, the thief would have tried to withdraw more money from her mother’s account.
“I want people to know that my mother hasn’t made any money off of ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ since 1968,” Guy-Rodrigues said. “People think that she’s a gazillionaire because of ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show.’ The residual schedule back then is not the same as it is now, and they certainly weren’t making a million dollars an episode like they do now.”