In an attempt to earn quick money, a pensioner has been sentenced to six years jail after being found guilty of faking his own death in Central America to secure £520,000 life insurance payout.
The 66-year-old Anthony McErlean was sentenced to six years at Canterbury Crown Court after admitting his false assertion. A judge said Anthony had impersonated his wife and declared that he had died after being knocking down by a farm truck in Honduras in 2009.
Forged documents along with a death certificate were shown to support a death benefit claim in the name of his wife, claiming the crash took place as Anthony was changing a tyre.
A made-up witness said he was travelling with Anthony to take wildlife pictures, and that after the crash, farm workers took his body away to village called Santa Rosa de Aguan.
Police were alerted by the Insurance Fraud Bureau, which had been contacted by suspicious officials at Ace European insurance company, which did not pay anything to Anthony, reported The Telegraph.
Anthony was arrested by the detectives from Kent Police and found a debit card in the name of Green from him.
On investigation, it was also found that he had been claiming pensions pertaining to his late father-in-law from a previous marriage, who passed away in March 2007.
"This is deliberate and calculated fraud, not only from corporate bodies but also from the public. In my judgment, you were driven by a desire to gratify your own overweening greed. You sought to benefit at the expense of others," said Judge Adele Williams, as reported by The Independent.
However, John Darwin had earlier faked his death in a canoe mishap off Teesside in 2003 in order to claim insurance and pension cash.