Businessman fakes death in bid to clear mounting debts

Businessman fakes death in bid to clear mounting debts
Published: 2014 June 17 22:54:55 (9685 Views)
A UK businessman has been jailed for faking his own death in India in a bid to pocket a £1.1m life insurance payout.

Sanjay Kumar, 45, claimed to have died of 'brain fever' in a desperate bid to clear his family's mounting debts.

But Kumar was actually in Delhi obtaining a fake death certificate and a receipt confirming he had been 'cremated', at an imaginary crematorium.

Kumar, born in India but a British citizen with dual nationality - flew to Delhi on business trip on 3 November, 2011.

He later emailed his wife Anju Kumar, 46, telling her he had fallen seriously ill and had been taken to hospital.

By 26 November, mother-of-three Mrs Kumar received an email, informing her that Sanjay had been killed by a 'brain fever' and cremated.
 
He then tried to claim a £250,000 policy from Scottish Provident and a term assurance policy with Aviva worth £450,000.

There were also claims for a second term assurance policy with Aviva valued at £450,000 and finally a Legal and General assurance pension death claim policy to the value of £5,789.38.

The couple tried to pocket £1,155,789.38 but were only paid £10,615.49 by the time of their arrest.

Southwark Crown Court Aviva heard Scottish Provident became suspicious about the circumstances of Kumar's 'death' and launched an investigation.

Detectives then established that Mrs Kumar had wired £1,522 to her husband via Western Union - two days after the couple claimed he had died.

The City of London Police's Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) later discovered Sanjay was in serious debt.



The failed businessman had been director of nine companies since the 1990s, and complained of 'threats' from his creditors.

The couple had also re-mortgaged their home in Watford, Hertfordshire, twice, leaving 'little or no equity' in it.

After realising his fraud had largely failed, Kumar returned to the UK under a false name to reunite with his wife, but was quickly arrested.

The couple, now separated, did not look at each other as Sanjay was jailed for 30 months and his wife was handed a suspended prison sentence.

Mrs Kumar was arrested on 30 August 2012 and when interviewed, she denied being responsible or having planned any part in the life insurance frauds.

The court heard how Kumar cynically attempted to blame his wife, writing a letter to his son, 20-year-old Vishal.

The note said, 'This news [of the fraud] shocked me and I was extremely angry'.

Abi Johnson, defending Mrs Kumar, begged the judge for 'mercy' as she had a dependant daughter who suffered from asthma.

'The prospect of having a criminal record has caused her to suffer.'

Counsel for Sanjay Kumar, Avi Chaudhuri, said the case was 'a personal tragedy'.

'It has unquestionably fractured his relationship with his children and no matter how hard they try in the future, that relationship will undoubtedly never be the same again.'




Source - DM

Tags: fraud, insurance, debt,
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