General Insurance Article - ABI comments on 7 year sentence for man who claimed £1.7m

A man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for attempting to defraud insurers of almost £1.7m. John Katege, from London claimed his friend had died in a car accident in Uganda – but following investigations by the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) all the records were found to be false and the friend cannot be traced. Full details can be found on the City of London Police website.

 Commenting on the case, Mark Allen, Manager, Fraud and Financial Crime, Association of British Insurers, said:
 "This case reinforces the strong message that insurance fraud is a serious crime that can lead to a prison sentence. Faked death claims may not be as common as other types of insurance frauds, but when they occur the sums of money involved can be considerable.
 "Whatever the type of insurance fraud, insurers will continue to crackdown on the cheats, who not only risk a custodial sentence, but will face problems in getting further cover and obtaining other financial products such as a mortgage."
 Some examples of failed faked death claims include:
  •   A husband faked his death in India so that his wife in the UK could collect £1.1m from life policies on his life. However, the death certificate was forged and the crematorium where he was said to have been cremated did not exist. He had flown back to the UK under an assumed name and was arrested shortly afterwards. He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
  •   'Canoe man’ John Darwin, who faked his own death by setting of at sea in a canoe, was arrested when he and his wife resurfaced in Panama. He stood to net over £500,000 in life insurance pay-outs.
  •   A man faked his own death, his wife claiming he had suffered a fatal heart attack while travelling in South America. It was subsequently discovered that he was alive and living in Australia. He was extradited to the UK where he was jailed.

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