A fraudster who tried to claim £600,000 in life insurance payments after the death of his brother from Covid has been jailed.
Daniel Banete, of Lillington Road in Coventry, took out four different life insurance policies in his brother’s name following his sibling's death in a Romanian hospital on July 8, 2020.
The 30-year-old took out the policies between July 16 to 21 the same year, providing fake death certificates to the insurance companies with different dates of death between November 2020 to January 2021 to try and claim the settlements.
The scam was exposed after Aviva, one of the insurers Banete had taken out a policy with, arranged for a Romanian member of staff to speak to the hospital Banete’s brother died at.The hospital workers were then able to confirm the correct date of death.
The insurer was also able to provide an IP address where the policy was taken out and later enquiries revealed that it was Banete at his home address.
During a search at Banete’s house, officers found policy documents relating to the life insurance policies for the four insurance companies. They also found a file of fake death certificates which showed a date of death as November 10 2020.
Officers from the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) also found a folder which contained Banete’s brother’s real birth, marriage and death certificates. Following his arrest, he would plead guilty to eight charges of fraud by false representation.
He was sentenced to three years imprisonment at Warwick Crown Court earlier this week on December 6 and ordered to pay a £190 victim surcharge.
Detective Constable Ian Cambridge, from the IFED, said: "Banete took out these policies after his brother died with the cynical intention of making financial gain for himself.
"He altered official documents to intentionally deceive the insurers and the overwhelming evidence against him shows that he knew exactly that he was doing."
Jacqueline Kerwood, Claims Philosophy Manager, Protection at Aviva, said: "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.
"Aviva has a zero-tolerance approach to fraud because fake claims put pressure on the cost of premiums for honest customers who rely on financial protection provided by life insurance policies."