Faked canoe 'death' couple cough up | AccountingWEB

Faked canoe 'death' couple cough up

The Crown Prosecution Service has announced that it has recovered over £500,000 in the notorious case of the faked canoe 'death'.

Readers may remember how John Darwin who had apparently drowned in a canoeing accident in March 2002 subsequently returned to life in 2007 claiming amnesia - after five years mostly spent hiding in the family home.  In the meantime his wife had collected on various life insurance policies.

Both John and Anne Darwin were convicted of fraud in 2008 and sent to prison, from which they emerged in 2011.

The monies were recovered through confiscation proceedings and included the proceeds of sale of property in Panama as well as bank balances both in Panama and the UK.


weaversmiths's picture

Coughing Up

weaversmiths | | Permalink

It is good to see the law working, makes me feel it is right to be honest after all :-).

This sort of news needs to be published widely to deter others from thinking that someone else's money comes easy.  When somebody is given 2 years for stealing, say, £100,000 from an employer or even a scam involving the elderly I immediately mentally divide the amount  by the length of sentence (minus remission) and find that thievery is very well remunerated. I doubt the Darwins expected to be relieved of their assets.  I am sure they didn't find HMP too hard.



Who gets the money?

ugdiv | | Permalink

Who gets the money that is confiscated?

Do the insurers get back what they paid out?

Or does it all go to the Crown?

davidwinch's picture

Who gets the money

davidwinch | | Permalink

The CPS announcement indicates that the money is being paid back to the insurance companies and pension funds who were defrauded.

However, ordinarily the proceeds of confiscation orders are payable to the Crown.  In this case there may also have been a compensation order in favour of the victims of the fraud.  Where there is both a confiscation order and a compensation order then monies recovered are used to satisfy the compensation order in priority to the confiscation order (in other words the victims get their money back before the Crown keeps any surplus), see s13(5) & (6) PoCA 2002.


taxhound's picture


taxhound | | Permalink

Now that they have nothing, they will no doubt do quite well on benefits....

(Not suggesting for a moment that their assets should not have been seized, just that they will still be able to live a reasonable life without them)

ShirleyM's picture

lol ... and the taxpayer pays again

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Paying the police, the courts, etc. that brought them to justice will have cost the taxpayers plenty, and the taxpayer pays for their food & lodging while they are incarcerated, and now we will keep them again on benefits.

Even where justice is served it costs a hell of a lot of money that will never be recovered. They should be made to work in a workhouse for the rest of their lives and give the proceeds to the Crown while living in a hovel and surviving on bread and milk. Now that would be a deterrent to crime! ;)

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