Syed Bikhari impersonated his partner on the phone while trying to fake his own death in Pakistan and make a false insurance claim worth a total of £999,999.
He pretended to be his wife when emailing and calling the insurer, claiming that he had died from a heart attack in Karachi, Pakistan.
The insurer referred the case to City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).
It found Bukhari had submitted fake documents to try and substantiate his claim, including a medical certificate of cause of death, a death registration certificate and a trust document.
Furthermore, a voice analysis expert compared Bukhari’s voice to the calls allegedly made by his partner and determined there was strong support that the ‘unknown speaker’ was Bukhari.
The insurer also instructed an independent claims investigation company in Pakistan, which discovered the cemetery named on the death certificate where Bukhari had allegedly been buried had no record in their register of it happening on the date listed, or a week either side.
The official file which should have contained details of Bukhari’s death was empty, while the medical centre listed also appeared never to have existed.
Despite this overwhelming evidence, Bukhari, 39, maintained it was his partner who made the claim without his knowledge before finally pleading guilty in court in December.
He was sentenced to five years and seven months in prison yesterday.
Decade in jail
This will be added to the end of his current seven years and 11 months jail term given after he posed as a bank employee to defraud an elderly couple suffering dementia out of their Preston home and life savings.
Bukhari was originally sentenced to eight years and four months in prison in September 2018, but this was reduced to seven years and 11 months following his guilty plea in court.
Acting detective sergeant Mike Monkton, who led the investigation for the IFED, said: “Not only did Bukhari try and fake his own death and steal hundreds of thousands of pounds from his insurer, he was also brazen enough to impersonate his partner in a bid to progress his claim.
“If he’d been successful, he would’ve benefited up to the sum of £999,999, but thanks to the initial enquiries carried out by the insurer and their subsequent referral to IFED, we were able to uncover the full extent of his fraudulent activity and bring him to justice.”