Hunt For 'Dead' Canoeist's Assets

Fraud Investigations

24.07.2008

The finances of John and Anne Darwin are being sifted through in an attempt to recover the money the Hartlepool couple defrauded in their £250,000 canoe-death scam.

The back-from-the-dead canoeist, 57, and his wife, 56, hatched their audacious plot to beat bankruptcy after running into financial difficulties.

Their "determined, sustained and sophisticated" fraud ended at Teesside Crown Court where Mr Darwin was jailed for six years and three months and his wife for six-and-a-half years.

In total, the Darwins claimed £250,820.75 in insurance and pension payouts over a five-and-half-year period.

The money was used to keep the couple afloat and allow them to pay off hefty mortgages on their large marital home and portfolio of rental properties.

When all the houses were sold off, the couple laundered the money - even using their own sons Mark, 32, and Anthony, 29 - via Jersey to Panama, where the couple started a new life.

At the time they were arrested last December, their assets were worth an estimated £500,000.

Police are already starting the process of getting the money back and a worldwide order is in place freezing the couple's assets.

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