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UPDATE: It's hard to predict who'll get reward money in criminal cases

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UPDATE 5:59 a.m.: The city of Riverside now says it's pulling its pledge of $100,000 toward the $1 million reward offered during the manhunt for rogue ex-Los Angeles cop Christopher Dorner.

City spokeswoman Cindie Perry told the Riverside Press-Enterprise Monday that the City Council resolution said the money was for information leading to Dorner's arrest and conviction, and neither condition was met.

A Riverside police officer was among four people killed by Dorner before he died in an apparent suicide during a standoff with authorities.

PREVIOUSLY: City officials have not yet decided how to divvy up a $1 million reward offered for the capture and conviction of ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner. And some donors, according to the LA Times, are starting to have second thoughts about whether any of the claimants are eligible.

Two different parties are vying for the full amount: a Big Bear couple whose car Dorner stole after tying them up, and a man whose truck was stolen by Dorner carjacked after he had crashed the couple's car. 

In both cases, the victims called police, adding links to the chain of events that ended with Dorner's suicide during a shootout in a cabin in the San Bernardino Mountains. 

Both reward claimants say they deserve the reward money—and some of the groups that donated to the reward, according to the Times, find those claims "unseemly." 

But how do such claims usually work? 

An examination of past payouts indicates that in the money-for-info business, rewards go to a variety of people: usually informants and witnesses, but sometimes victims.

In the past 16 months, the City of L.A. has administered the payout of nearly $400,000 in reward money in big and small chunks.

The smaller rewards—$24,000 worth—went to people who blew the whistle on taggers. 

Among the larger chunks were rewards that went to people who blew the whistle not on something they saw, but on someone they knew.

In September, 2012, the city awarded $50,000 to two people who testified against the murderers of Hector Balderas. Two gang members who mistook Balderas for a gang member shot him in the neck in a drive-by shooting in March 2007. According to police, the reward was "instrumental" in convincing its two recipients to testify against his killers.

In March of 2012, two people who tipped off police to the whereabouts of a murder suspect hiding in Mexico got $25,000 each.

Sometimes victims of crimes are eligible for rewards. Earlier this year, the Los Angeles City Council approved payouts of $25,000 each to two survivors of a road-rage shooting who testified against their attacker in court.

The one common thread in all these cases? Each ended with someone being convicted of the crime in court, and no payouts were made until after court proceedings concluded. 

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