Giordano stood to collect on $1.5 million insurance policy

Gary Giordano, the Gaithersburg man appearing before a judge in Aruba Wednesday in connection with the disappearance of his traveling companion, stood to collect on her $1.5 million travel insurance policy, Aruban Solicitor General Taco Stein said.

In an email, Stein said Giordano “was the beneficiary in case of a mishap with” the companion, Robyn Gardner. “The amount was $1.5 million,” Stein wrote.

The Associated Press earlier reported the policy, citing a confidential source. This is the first time the Washington Post has been able to confirm details about the policy with Aruban authorities.

Giordano, 50, and Gardner, 35, of Frederick, arrived in Aruba July 31. She went missing two days later. Giordano told Aruban police the two had been snorkeling, and Gardner didn’t make it back to the shore. But police became skeptical of his story, and arrested Giordano on Aug. 5 at the airport as he was trying to leave.

Rescue workers have searched the waters and land but have found “no sign whatsoever” of Gardner, Stein said.

Giordano has run a personnel staffing company out of his home in a quiet Gaithersburg neighborhood. His court hearing on Wednesday was underway as of 10:30 a.m, Stein said. Giordano has appeared before judges previously since his arrest, and ordered to remain locked up.

The judge likely will rule one of three ways at the end of Wednesday’s hearing:

• Order Giordano held for another 60 days. This would start the clock ticking toward criminal charges being filed and a trial being held. There still could be a delay in a trial, but in general the trial would be expected to commence within two or three months.

• Order Giordano released from prison on the condition he remain in Aruba. This would be an indication that police and prosecutors are continuing their case.

• Order Giordano released from prison and declare he is free to leave Aruba. That would mean the judge has ruled the prosecutors didn’t present enough evidence to hold him.

Dan Morse covers courts and crime in Montgomery County. He arrived at the paper in 2005, after reporting stops at the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun and Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is the author of The Yoga Store Murder.

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