A man has been sentenced to two and a half years in jail for faking his death in a £1.1m life insurance fraud.
Sanjay Kumar was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court today after pleading guilty to six counts of fraud by false representation.
His wife, Anju Kumar, pleaded guilty to two counts of the same offence and was handed a 10-month jail sentence, suspended for two years.
Anju Kumar told five insurers her husband had died of “brain fever” and been cremated in India on 25 November 2011, in an attempt to collect £1.1m in life insurance policies and investments.
But enquiries by Aviva and Scottish Provident found no record of Sanjay Kumar being treated for a life threatening illness or being admitted to hospital. The insurers also discovered that a fake death certificate had been submitted.
Scottish Provident referred the information to the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, which launched an investigation.
IFED detectives established that Sanjay Kumar was in significant financial debt and under pressure to pay creditors.
They found that Anju Kumar had used a Western Union transfer to send £1,500 to her husband in India on 27 November 2011 – two days after she alleged he had died – and that he collected it.
They also found that Sanjay Kumar had flown back to the UK under a fake name on 17 August 2012.
IFED detective constable Tom Hill says: “Sanjay Kumar’s answer to building up substantial debt was to fake his own death in India and let his wife cash in their investments.
“Unfortunately for the couple their tale of supposed tragedy quickly fell apart under scrutiny by insurers and IFED, with the uncovering of one lie exposing several more from the Kumars as they attempted get their hands on a massive payout.”