Using staff discount card outs fake death scammer

Steve Parsons/PA Archive

The use of a HMV staff discount card after the employee was officially declared dead has unearthed an alleged £1.25m life insurance scam.

Alfredo Sanchez, 47, was living and working in Britain before being declared dead by his wife. Sanchez has been tracked down by authorities living in Australia under the alias Hugo Sanchez.
Suspicions were initially raised when Sanchez's HMV employee discount card was used following his death. His wife, Sophie Sanchez, had informed his employers that he had died while abroad. Mrs Sanchez is alleged to have informed the authorities that his body had been cremated.

The couple were then thought to have moved with their family to Australia in 2005 following the receipt of a lump sum life insurance payout of £1.25m. Suspicions were aroused when the discount card continued to be used following his death.

As police investigated and evidence mounted, detectives in the UK inspected Sanchez's death certificate and found his fingerprints on it.

Mrs Sanchez was arrested last September when she returned to the UK from Australia and admitted to police that her husband was still alive.

The Daily Mail reported a court heard that Mrs Sanchez was 'genuinely very remorseful' for what had happened and that she did not try to sidestep responsibility for her actions which had apparently been motivated by the large debts accrued by her husband. Mrs Sanchez admitted six offences of fraud but denied seven others which will lie on file.
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