Kent man Anthony McErlean jailed for faking own death in Honduras


Anthony McErlean claimed he had died in Honduras (Kent Police)Kent pensioner Anthony McErlean has been jailed for six years after he faked his own death in Honduras as part of an insurance scam.

The 66-year-old, from Petham near Canterbury, pretended to be his wife when he claimed he had been killed in a road accident close to the village of Santa Rosa De Aguan on December 6th 2009.

Anthony McErlean claimed he had died in Honduras (Kent Police)

He also produced a bogus death certificate and faked statement, in which a non-existent witness said he had been struck by a produce truck while changing a tyre and that local people had taken care of the body.

McErlean’s actions were part of an elaborate plan to persuade ACE European to pay out £520,000 from a life insurance policy.

Staff at the company were suspicious about the claim and called in the Insurance Fraud Bureau, who in turn alerted Kent Police.

They arrested McErlean before he received any money and, on March 16th 2011, charged him with making a fraudulent claim.

A day later he applied for a new passport on the grounds he had lost the document, when in fact it had been seized by police as part of his bail terms.

He was subsequently charged with fraudulently obtaining a passport and two counts of theft, as detectives discovered he had been claiming pensions relating to his dead father-in-law from a previous marriage.

McErlean pleaded guilty to all four offences in June and was sentenced to six years imprisonment at a hearing at Canterbury Crown Court today.

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