‘Back-from-the-dead’ English Canoeist Pleads Guilty to Deception

March 14, 2008

A British man accused of faking his death in an insurance scam pleaded guilty to fraud. His wife denied involvement, and will stand trial later this year.

John Darwin, 57, admitted obtaining money by deception and obtaining a false passport.

Darwin made headlines in December when he walked into a London police station claiming to have amnesia. He had been declared dead after disappearing while canoeing off the English coast in 2002.

Police accused Darwin and his wife, Anne, of staging the death to collect his $50,000 insurance policy. British newspapers ran pictures that appeared to show the couple in Panama, four years after John Darwin’s alleged death.

Darwin admitted seven deception charges and one passport offense during the hearing at Leeds Crown Court in northern England. He denied nine other charges of using criminal property. Prosecutors said he would not be tried on those charges

Anne Darwin, 55, pleaded not guilty to 15 charges of deception and using criminal property. Her trial is scheduled to start in July.

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