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OFF BEAT: Man who faked death in 2002 ordered to pay from pension funds


A U.K. man nicknamed “Canoe man” after he faked his death in a canoe accident in 2002 in an effort to defraud insurance companies has been ordered to pay £40,000 ($67,332) from two pensions by a British court.

According to reports, though John Darwin had been ordered to repay the nearly £680,000 ($1.1 million) he's scammed from insurers by faking his death in the North Sea, so far he has repaid only £121 ($204). The pension funds from which Mr. Darwin — who is currently unemployed — was ordered to make payment were apparently earned during his time working as a teacher and a prison officer, reports said.

In 2008, Mr. Darwin was sentenced to prison for the insurance fraud and ordered to repay the funds. Following his “disappearance,” Mr. Darwin had reportedly been hiding out with his then-wife before walking into a London police station in December 2007 and claiming amnesia.

His ex-wife, who reports said was also jailed and has been repaying funds under a separate order, apparently expressed surprise at Mr. Darwin's 2007 “reappearance” until being confronted with a picture of the two of them together taken after her then-husband's supposed death.