Man Fakes Death For Three Years To Avoid Debt Collectors

Man fakes death for three years to avoid debt collectors. Hides in in house and flees via secret compartments whenever guests are over. When he finally resurfaced, he did it by walking into a police station and claiming to be suffering from amnesia. He was arrested on suspicion of fraud. Debt makes people do crazy things. That’s why we’re allergic to it when it comes to buying depreciating assets (unless they’re needed to make more money.

“Dead” man hid in family home for three years [Reuters via Blogging Away Debt]


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  1. louisb3 says:

    If you’re going to commit fraud, do it with style.

  2. hrdwrkin1 says:

    Hey at least he put forth effort. I hate people that don’t pay their debt, cause someone has to pay for it. My father owned a duplex and it was a pain when people did not pay. Normally they trashed the place as well. I say throw the book at him. If you cannot pay a debt there are companies and programs out there to help you.

  3. timmus says:

    I don’t understand why people go to extreme lengths or commit suicide over debt collection. Does it even cross their mind to leave the US and move to another country? Most countries have a large network of expatriates, some legit and others not so legit.

  4. Buran says:

    The fraud thing isn’t what pissed me off.

    The fact that he didn’t even tell his own freakin’ FAMILY that he wasn’t dead did. I totally don’t blame his sons for cutting off the parents (since the mom/wife was in on it too). While I’m sure it is emotionally wrenching for this guy and his wife, think about how the sons must feel — thinking their father was dead all these years, then finding out that their parents had been blatantly lying to them. How can anyone do such a thing?

  5. JustAGuy2 says:


    Leaving the US wouldn’t have helped very much – the guy’s English.

  6. nutrigm says:

    Ha ha! Got to give the guy points for originality!

  7. timmus says:

    Ugh, OK, I humbly accept the US-centric egg on my face and should have paid more attention to the article. But he could have left the UK too.

  8. Copper says:

    If you’re going to fake your death to avoid debt collectors and then come back later claiming amnesia, make sure your wife isn’t gonna rat you out.

    Should’ve had a better plan.

  9. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    I also think he owed around 50,000 pounds. Certainly this is a tidy sum but not insurmountable. It seems he could have worked part-time at nights somewhere and paid it off in 3 years.

  10. Adam Hyland says:

    Also, I think that amnesia is more common in fiction than it is in reality. My wife has worked in health care for a while and we’ve talked about this before. We’ve NEVER seen someone with what might be termed “amnesia”. EVER.

  11. bluesunburn says:

    @Hyland: Agreed. When I was a kid I suffered some memory loss because of heat stroke, but as an EMT I’ve never come across anything remotely resembling the “amnesia” this guy had…

  12. lalala1956 says:

    wow I totally don’t remember clicking on this link or where I am

  13. Roadkill says:

    Antonio: I’m sorry father but, somewhere along the way, I forgot how to be your son.
    Calculon: Why Antonio?
    Antonio: Because…I have amnesia!

    Monique: Before I kill you, I must ask you one question. Who am I? For I have…amnesia!

    Calculon: Let me get this straight. Does anyone here not have amnesia?

    When I grow up I’m gonna have so much amnesia!

  14. mandarin says:

    Another victim of the Hypnotoad!

  15. darkened says:

    “I also think he owed around 50,000 pounds. Certainly this is a tidy sum but not insurmountable. It seems he could have worked part-time at nights somewhere and paid it off in 3 years.”

    What job can i work part time that pays $100,000 in 3 years that doesn’t involve prostitution or drug dealing??

  16. UpsetPanda says:

    @Hyland: Agreed. Amnesia, in my opinion and based on research I’ve done as a student, is not actually forgetting facts or details. Facts and details are merely pushed away to a corner and when one doesn’t want to retrieve those details, one tends to clutter that corner with other things. It’s like pack rats in a house…they pack and pack and pack and sooner or later, they can’t tell you the first thing they put in the house because there’s just too much stuff cluttering it.

  17. UpsetPanda says:

    The stuff is still there, it’s just that whoever put it there has pushed it aside for other things.

    * oops, accidentally hit submit

  18. UpsetPanda says:

    @darkened: Money laundering?

  19. Lawk Salih says:

    Can you do such thing?

  20. spinachdip says:

    @timmus: But with the European Union being a single financial system, how does that work when it comes to debt evasion? Not that I’m planning to rack up a lot of debt with no intention of repaying an EU-based creditor or anything, just curious.

  21. lincolnparadox says:

    Eh, what’s a little insurance fraud? The insurance companies commit fraud all the time, and with a lot less subtlety.

  22. m4ximusprim3 says:

    I wonder how much it cost him to put the secret passages in his house? Seems like that would have been more productive put towards the debt :)

  23. bohemian says:

    I always wondered about that too. Are all the financial monsters EU wide? Sort of along the same lines of someone living in the US, if they go to Canada are they immune from collection?

    One of those odd questions.

  24. marsneedsrabbits says:

    Yeah, like everyone else here hasn’t faked their own death in an elaborate plot to avoid paying off debts.
    Seriously. If this guy was my dad, I would be all manner of cheesed about now. bad dad. No Christmas card.

  25. Mrs. Stephen Fry says:

    I’m pretty sure it was five years, not just three.

  26. Comeaja says:

    I’d call it crazy but hey, why not live in secret compartments in a vacant house for five years with your love ones thinking your dead? Seems pretty sensible to me. [/sarcasm]

  27. shanaynay says:

    @Darkened: look at the username — “Stan from Brooklyn.” Remember that he’s used to dealing with NYC metro prices AND wages. $100K there isn’t $100K in Dubuque….

    Though I’d still like to find a PT job that paid $33K/year after taxes….

  28. The HZA. says:

    Creed Bratton: I once faked my own death for tax purposes.

  29. Smithers: Simpson, stop frolicking and get to work!
    Homer: Right away, Mr. Smithers. I’ll just walk across these slippery rocks — aah! [falls]
    Carl: Oh no! He’s going over the falls!
    Lenny: Oh good. He snagged that tree branch.
    Carl: Oh no! The branch broke off!
    Lenny: Oh good. He can grab onto them pointy rocks.
    Carl: Oh no! Them rocks broke his arms and legs.
    Lenny: Oh good. Those helpful beavers are swimming out to save him.
    Carl: Oh no! They’re biting him, and stealing his pants.

  30. jrdnjstn78 says:

    So what do they pay strippers, if you’re good?

    Oh wait I don’t think anyone wants to see him stripping!

  31. RocktheDebit says:

    And bankruptcy is worse than this how?