MARYLAND

Tripp Waives Right to Speedy Trial Linda R. Tripp formally waived her right to a speedy trial yesterday, permitting her Jan. 18 wiretapping trial in Howard County to be pushed back until July 10.

Circuit Judge Diane O. Leasure, who last week heard testimony on Tripp's motion to exclude most of the evidence against her, has not set a date for final arguments on the motion.

Tripp was indicted on two counts: illegally wiretapping a telephone conversation with former White House intern Monica S. Lewinsky and illegally disclosing the contents of that recording to Newsweek magazine. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine upon conviction.

VIRGINIA

Four Guilty Pleas in Federal Fraud CaseFour current or former Alexandria residents pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to defrauding more than a dozen insurance companies by submitting multiple claims for bogus car accidents.

The defendants--identified as Larry Kaslov, 50, and his wife, Mary, 49, of Alexandria; Duke Stevens, 40, of Atlanta; and John Henron, 49, of Brooklyn, N.Y.--each were charged with one count of mail fraud conspiracy in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a $250,000 fine upon conviction. Sentencing was set for March 3.

Prosecutors said the defendants used fake identification to take out several auto insurance policies and then falsified accident claims. If an insurance adjustor tried to investigate a claim, the defendants would bash the vehicle with a hammer or ram it into a wall. According to the indictment, an estimated $75,000 was scammed from insurers.

Three other defendants in the case, former residents of Alexandria who now live in Connecticut, are expected to enter pleas there, court officials said.