Our life insurance lawyers would like to share a case in which a man dug up a corpse to collect life insurance proceeds, as well as some other cases involving life insurance fraud.
- Molly and Clayton Daniels: Molly Daniels convinced her husband Clayton to dig up a woman’s corpse, dress it in his clothes and stage a fiery car accident to fake his death. They wanted to collect a $110,000 life insurance policy and hide Clayton from the police. They were caught when Clayton was spotted by a neighbor.
- Bentley and Jennifer Kuehl: Bentley Kuehl dug up the body of a 53-year-old man who had died of natural causes and placed it in his own car. He then set the car on fire and fled the scene. His wife Jennifer tried to claim his $140,000 life insurance policy, but the DNA test revealed the body was not Bentley’s. They were both arrested and charged with arson, insurance fraud and theft.
- Bennett v. State Farm Life Insurance Co.: State Farm denied a claim based on the insured’s alleged faked death. The court ruled in favor of State Farm finding the insured staged his own death and fled to Mexico.
- Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Co. v. Rosen Hartford Life denied a claim based on the insured’s alleged faked death. The court ruled in favor of Hartford Life, finding the insured was alive and living under an alias.
- Lincoln Benefit Life Co. v. Heitz Lincoln Benefit denied a claim based on the insured’s alleged faked death. The court ruled in favor of Lincoln Benefit, finding that the insured was not dead and had conspired with his wife to defraud the insurer.
- ReliaStar Life Insurance Co. v. Dallman ReliaStar denied a claim based on the insured’s alleged faked death. The court ruled in favor of ReliaStar, finding the insured was alive and had forged his death certificate.
- Prudential Insurance Co. v. Lam: Prudential denied a claim based on the insured’s alleged faked death. The court ruled in favor of Prudential, finding that the insured was not dead and had used a body double to fake his death.
- Saul Hinojosa: Saul Hinojosa, a former insurance agent, wrote 28 fraudulent preneed burial insurance and life insurance policies using his former clients’ identities. He collected about $18,000 in commissions. He was arrested and charged with insurance fraud and identity theft.
- John Darwin: John Darwin, a former teacher and prison officer, faked his own death by canoeing out to sea and disappearing. His wife Anne collected his life insurance and pension benefits worth around £250,000. They moved to Panama and lived under false identities until 2007, when John returned to the UK claiming to have amnesia. They were both sentenced to over six years in prison.
- Jose Lantigua: Jose Lantigua, a furniture store owner, faked his death in Venezuela due to a rare disease. His wife Daphne collected his $9 million life insurance policy and used it to pay off his debts and buy property. However, Jose was later spotted in North Carolina using a fake passport. He pleaded guilty to bank fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
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