8 extreme cases of insurance fraud
Life insurers anticipate phony deaths
Clayton Daniels was already on the run from the law when he and wife Molly dreamed up the perfect disappearing act: They dug up the grave of an elderly woman named Charlotte Davis, dressed her in Clayton's clothes, put her body in his car, set it on fire and pushed it off a cliff. Their goal: to fake Clayton's death so Molly could collect on his $110,000 life insurance policy.
Unfortunately for the Daniels, the insurance company insisted on a DNA test (it didn't match, naturally), investigators found that the fire had started in the driver's seat, and oh yes -- Clayton had resurfaced several weeks later with dyed hair and a mustache, introduced as Molly's new boyfriend, Jake Gregg. The scheme landed both in jail for many years.
"Life insurers take faked deaths very seriously, and it's not an uncommon crime," says Quiggle. "Faked deaths happen often enough that life insurers have very sophisticated investigations to chase after these claims. Why? Because the claims can be $500,000 to $1 million or more. They don't just plop that kind of money on the table."