A former Toronto resident, found living in California, is accused of faking his death five years ago with help from his wife and son to collect more than $1 million in life insurance, Toronto Police said Friday.
The trio were arrested on the west coast by U.S. Marshals Feb. 11 and extradited to Canada Thursday to face fraud charges, police said.
“It’s alleged the man purchased several life insurance policies totalling $3.525 million while living in the Toronto area,” Const. Tony Vella said.
Because the couple’s son, now 20, was under 18 at the time and is accused of uttering a forged document and four counts of fraud over $5,000, the Youth Criminal Justice Act prohibits the naming of anyone in the family.
The couple travelled to Iran in 2008 and, when the wife returned to Toronto, she allegedly claimed she had been widowed during the trip.
“It’s alleged the wife falsely claimed her husband died of a heart attack while in Iran,” Vella said.
The woman and her son “initiated the death-claims process” with each insurance company in order to receive the benefits of her husband’s policies.
The couple, who were living in Mission Viejo, Calif., are charged with four counts of fraud over $5,000.
The wife also faces nine counts of uttering a forged document.