In 2009, the FBI charged two old ladies with fraud for buying policies in the name of fictitious people, killing them off ‘on paper’ and staging their funerals – all so they could claim their life insurance and funeral expenses!
The masterminds behind this Insurance fraud scheme were a 67-year-old, Jean Crump, who prepared death certificates for a now defunct mortuary in Los Angeles, and a 61-year-old nurse, Faye Shilling.
The two women faked death certificates, and defrauded several lending companies that gave them money to cover funeral expenses. But when they attempted to claim under the life insurance policies of these people, the insurers got suspicious because of multiple sizeable claims involved. A private investigator was hired who then unraveled the con when one of the people on the death certificates turned out to be a real living person. The woman had listed a real name to avoid any suspicion in case an insurance company checked the name.
Eventually, the FBI then took over and got Shilling to confess on a hidden camera which wrapped things up. Shilling was sentenced to 2 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of $330,500, and Crump was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison and ordered to pay $315,000.