Man fakes death in half million pound fraud

Yesterday a Scot admitted to faking his death in a 520,000 pound scam of his insurance company. Anthony McErlean was thought have met his death in Honduras after being run over by a cabbage truck in 2009. The sixty-seven year old was said to have been killed by a fake witness who claimed his body was taken by farm workers in the truck and they took care of it.

The deceased then tried to claim his insurance in his wife’s name. But the insurers did not fall for his scam and did not extend a penny. Instead the Insurance Fraud Bureau was alerted by Glasgow’s Ace European insurance. Detectives were able to trace McErlean the father of two to Kent and found he had a credit card in Green’s name. They arrested the Scot and his passport was taken and he was later bailed.

The next day he applied for a new passport and it was revealed yesterday that he claimed pensions in the name of his father in law who died in 2007. This case is similar to the John Darwin case where he faked his death in a canoe mishap and fled to Panama.

McErlean’s faked witness statement said he was hit by a cabbage truck as he changed a tyre on his vehicle in the village of Santa Rosa de Aguan. He appeared yesterday at Canterbury Crown Court to be advised he faced a possible jail sentence. He pled guilty to fraud by claiming in his wife’s name over a half million pounds of death benefits.

He admitted to stealing pension funds and he also admitted to fraudulently attempting to get a passport by saying he had lost his. The Recorder Peter Gower told him he faced a jail sentence and was asked if he understood, he answered that he did.