Life insurance fraud is something that agencies have to deal with on occasion. In most cases, fraud occurs when policy holders are in financial ruin. It also occurs when a deep hatred occurs between people or someone with a vendetta to settle becomes aware of the life insurance policy. For those with diluted thoughts, they see this as an opportunity for financial security. With today’s experts in forensics and scientific advancements, cases of life insurance fraud are becoming far less.
John Darwin’s case of life insurance fraud is a bit of hilarity. He and his wife were experiencing extreme financial difficulty and came up with the idea of faking his death to collect the funds. He chose to canoe off on a calm day with a clear mind. It seemed as if he got lost at sea. After 5 years he and his wife were seen in newspapers and he claimed to have had amnesia for that period of time.
Jean Crump and Faye Shilling
This creative duo created a fake person, similar to the events in the famous “Shawshenk Redemption” movie for money laundering reasons. They created a man named “Jim Davis”. This is a popular name, so that itself didn’t raise any red flags. They staged the entire thing, his heart attack, his body and even fake mourners at the staged funeral. Suspicions arose and the “body” was requested to be exhumed for an investigation. It turned out that there was a mannequin and cow parts for weight inside the coffin. No actual person ever existed.
Bridget Buckner claimed that she was married to an FBI agent that was killed in the line of duty. She and her husband did have a daughter. She tried claiming life insurance on both stating that both died suddenly a short time apart. The couple’s daughter did pass away, but it was years prior. Her husband was alive and well and was not an FBI agent. What Buckner did not know was that the insurance investigator was a retired FBI agent himself. This news would have traveled to him.
James C. Cilenti
James was unable to claim the life insurance policy that was in his wife’s name. The policy was left to the deceased the couple’s adopted daughter and not accountant, James Cilenti. James worked with his business partner to set up a trust fund for the funds to go into with the intention of the half-million dollar policy to be used by Cilenti and not to benefit the couple’s adopted child. Cilenti also claimed Social Security death benefits for the adopted daughter totaling over $7,000.
Janeene Lea Jones
Janeene thought it would be a novel idea to hire a hit man to kill her husband while she was away on a cruise. What seemed like the perfect crime wasn’t so perfect. The hit man hired was an undercover police officer. When it was found that she wanted her husband dead so that she could live with financial freedom, she was arrested and charged with solicitation to commit murder in the first degree.
These are extreme cases and plots of hiring a hit man or something similar to creating a fake person happen every day. What these persons don’t realize is that the truth always comes out. Insurance agencies have investigators that examine every claim.