Singapore—Abraham Rock and his mother, Talat Farman, have been found guilty for faking Mrs Farman’s death and subsequently collecting money from her CPF account and falsified insurance claims.
Thirty-six-year-old Mr Rock did this ostensibly to solve his money problems.
On September 26, Thursday, Mr Rock was given a jail sentence of 3 years and 10 months, and Mrs Farman, a sentence of one year and one month.
Mr Rock had claimed that his mother perished in a traffic accident along Ring Road, near Kohat Bridge in Peshawar, Pakistan, on July 5, 2018; and sought to claim from insurance policies from the following companies: AXA, Great Eastern Life Assurance, and MSIG, handing in a death certificate, as well as police and medical reports.
Court documents show that Mr Rock, his mother, and three other men conspired to fake Mrs Farman’s death.
By July 17th, Mr Rock handed in a police report from Bhana Mari Police Station to Great Eastern Life, where his mother had policies under Prestige Term Plus life and Great Protector insurance for S$1 million each.
He also filed for a personal accident insurance claim amounting to S$60,000, and a life insurance claim of S$71,998.86, also with Great Eastern Life.
Along with the ‘police report’ Mr Rock also handed in a medical report and a death certificate from Lady Reading Hospital in Pakistan, along with a copy of an invoice for the marble plate for his mother’s burial.
He also made claims with AXA and MSIG on the same day. He had already filed a claim with NTUC income two days before.
However, when the insurance companies made their own investigations in Pakistan, it was discovered that Mr Rock’s documents had been falsified, as Mrs Farman’s tomb could not be found during the course of the investigations.
Mr Rock was charged with eleven counts including engaging in a conspiracy to commit cheating, giving false information, making a false statutory declaration and providing false evidence. His mother, who is also a Singaporean citizen, faced five charges, including engaging in a conspiracy to cheat.
During the course of the hearing, it was revealed that monetary difficulties in 2017 caused Mr Rock to choose to commit insurance fraud through falsifying his mother’s death, and he began to purchase insurance policies that gave the highest payouts.
When he planned that a fake automobile accident would be the cause of her death, he and his uncle and two cousins, who are still at large, started collecting fake documents attesting to this, with his mother agreeing to his plan.
She and Mr Rock flew to Islamabad, Pakistan on June 29, 2018, where he collected more documents, and told ICA upon his return that his mother had died on July 5.
Kenneth Chin, the Deputy Public Prosecutor on the case, argued for a 4-year sentence for Mr Rock and a 15-month sentence for his mother.
He said, “This is a life insurance fraud case where the accused meticulously devised an elaborate plan to profit off the reported death of his mother. If (he had) succeeded, he stood to gain a princely sum of more than S$3 million.
It’s ironic that the purported deceased now stands beside him in the dock to face the consequences when the law has caught up with them.”
The DPP pointed out that the victims of the crime included members of the public.
“I say this because the real victims of insurance fraud are the men on the street, such as your honour and myself, who bear increased premiums of insurance policies.”
However, Trent Ng, the defense lawyer, argued that since the bulk of the payout was from CPF money, it actually belonged to her, “in some sense.”
But the prosecutor countered that “the deception of the CPF Board frustrated the policy intent of CPF” and that Mrs Farman is “not entitled to (the money) at this point.
Aside from the jail sentence, District Judge Christopher Tan ordered the seized amount of over S$12,000 in Mr. Rock’s bank account to be returned to the CPF Board./ TISG