A total of £40,000 has been recovered from canoe conman John Darwin who faked his own death and fled to Central America.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has recovered £40,000 from Darwin, who was found guilty of deception in 2008 with his wife over a life insurance scam.
This case really shows that fraud doesn’t pay.Nick Price, head of proceeds and crime at the Crown Prosecution Service
He faked his own death and was reported missing in a canoe in the sea off Seaton Carew, in Hartlepool, in March 2002.
Fraudster Darwin also used the birth certificate of John Jones – a baby boy born in Sunderland five months before him, but who died at just 34 days old – to obtain a passport.
Meanwhile, his wife Anne collected hundreds of thousands of pounds in life insurance payouts, with John Darwin hiding in the marital home.
The recent payment of £40,000 brings the total amount paid in confiscation orders by the Darwins to £541,762 and 39 pence.
The £40,000 was paid on July 28, 2014 ,from John Darwin’s pension, which he had deferred until the same time his licence preventing him for leaving the country was about to run out.
Following his conviction, the court found that John Darwin had benefited by £679,194.62, but having pretended to be dead, all assets were in his wife’s name.
The court therefore made an order for £1 allowing the CPS to amend the order should any assets, such as this pension, become available.
The Darwins now have no known assets remaining for confiscation.
Nick Price, head of proceeds of crime at the CPS, said: “When John Darwin devised his plan to defraud insurance companies, he didn’t think he’d get caught at all.
“But he also didn’t bank on the dedication and determination of my team to recover the money he stole – even seven years later.
“This case really shows that fraud doesn’t pay.
“My thanks also go to police colleagues in the North East Regional Asset Recovery Team for their hard work.”