"he was also brazen enough to impersonate his partner"
Fraudster Syed Bukhari, aged 39, of Withington, Manchester was jailed for five years and seven months for trying to claim a £1 million insurance payout after faking his own death.
Inner London Crown Court heard that he pretended to be his wife in a bid to convince a company that he had suffered a fatal heart attack in Karachi, Pakistan.
However, insurers were suspicious and tipped-off police.
Bukhari had initially used his wife’s name in an email to his insurance company, claiming that he died of a heart attack in Pakistan.
He later impersonated his partner on the phone to make the claim seem legitimate and progress it further.
But a voice analysis expert compared Bukhari’s voice to one of the calls supposedly made by his partner. It was determined that it was highly likely that the “unknown speaker” was Bukhari.
The Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) also found that he had submitted bogus documents to try and provide substance to his claim.
This included a medical certificate of cause of death, a death certificate and a trust document.
But there were discrepancies with the documents and when they were tested for fingerprints, three marks were found to belong to Bukhari.
Based on the documents, the insurer also requested for an independent claims investigation company to carry out further checks in Pakistan.
It was discovered that the cemetery named on the death certificate, where Bukhari had allegedly been buried, had no record in their register of it happening on the listed date or a week either side.
The investigator also attended offices where the death registration certificate recorded Bukhari’s alleged death.
However, upon checking the file, which should have contained various details about the death, it was empty.
In addition, the investigator visited the supposed medical centre listed on the medical certificate of cause of death, but there was no sign of the premises existing in Karachi.
A doctor told investigators that he had never heard of the medical centre.
Despite the evidence against him, the fraudster initially denied any wrongdoing and claimed that it was his wife who made the claim without his knowledge.
He later pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by false representation.
Detective Sergeant Mike Monkton led the investigation and said:
“Not only did Bukhari try and fake his own death and steal hundreds of thousands of pounds from his insurer, he was also brazen enough to impersonate his partner in a bid to progress his claim.
“If he’d been successful, he would’ve benefited up to the sum of £999,999.”
“But thanks to the initial enquiries carried out by the insurer and their subsequent referral to IFED, we were able to uncover the full extent of his fraudulent activity and bring him to justice.”
Manchester Evening News reported that he was jailed for five years and seven months on January 16, 2020.
His sentence will run concurrently to the seven years and 11 months he is currently serving for a separate fraud offence.
In 2018, he scammed an elderly couple suffering from dementia out of their savings. He used the money for a hair transplant and a lavish spending spree.
He spent tens of thousands of pounds buying Rolex watches, jewellery, designer phones and making six first-class trips to Pakistan and Dubai.
On one occasion, Bukhari spent £11,000 on a stay at a hotel in Dubai.
Senior officers referred to the fraudster as “a callous, deeply manipulative and heartless liar.”