Protection  

Man jailed for £520k fraudulent life insurance claims

Man jailed for £520k fraudulent life insurance claims
  Daniel Banete took out four different life insurance policies in his brother’s name

A man living in Coventry has been sentenced to three years imprisonment after fraudulently trying to claim £520,000 in life insurance payments after his brother died from Covid-19.

Just eight days after his brother died in hospital in Romania on July 8, 2020, 30-year-old Daniel Banete took out four different life insurance policies in his brother’s name between July 16 and 21. 

The City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department said Banete provided fake death certificates to the insurance companies with different dates of death between November 2020 to January 2021 to try and claim the settlements.

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A Warwick Crown Court sentenced Banete to three years imprisonment on December 6, after he pled guilty to eight charges of fraud by false representation. He was also ordered to pay a £190 victim surcharge.

Detective constable Ian Cambridge said “overwhelming evidence” showed Banete altered official documents to intentionally deceive insurers.

“He knew exactly what he was doing,” said Cambridge.

A search of Banete’s house by officers unearthed the fake death certificates Banete had sent to the insurers to make the claims which showed a date of death as November 10, 2020.

The officers also found a folder which contained Banete’s brother’s real birth, marriage and death certificates. 

Following the search, Banete was arrested and answered ‘no comment’ to all questions during his police interview.

One of the insurers Banete filed a fraudulent claim to was Aviva.

Claims philosophy manager for protection at Aviva, Jacqueline Kerwood said Aviva has "a zero-tolerance approach to fraud".

She explained how fake claims put pressure on the cost of premiums for honest customers who rely on financial protection provided by life insurance policies.

“This sentencing makes the point that insurance fraud is a crime and if you commit insurance fraud, it is likely you will be caught and prosecuted,” said Kerwood.

Back in 2017, a mother and son were charged after they allegedly conspired to fake the mother’s death in Zanzibar in an alleged attempt to claim £140,000 of life insurance.

In that case, both were charged with fraud by false representation.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com