A Zimbabwean woman based in the United Kingdom (UK) was arrested after she tried to defraud an insurance company, Aviva of nearly £400 000 by claiming her husband had died, City A.M. reports.
Thuile Bhebhe, 51, reported that her husband had died in Zimbabwe in August 2016, submitting false documents to her insurer, Aviva, in order to substantiate her claim.
However, discrepancies in the paperwork submitted by Bhebhe raised Aviva’s suspicions, leading them to carry out further enquiries into the case.
Investigations established that Bhebhe’s husband was alive and well, and in fact, working his shift as a nurse at a London hospital on the day he was alleged to have died.
Bhebhe was sentenced at Inner London Crown Court on 15 March 2021, to two years’ imprisonment suspended for two years and 100 hours of community service, with a twenty-five-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.
She had previously pleaded guilty at the City of London Magistrates Court in November 2018.
Detective Constable James Rafiq, from the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, said:
Mrs Bhebhe tried to exploit Aviva and steal nearly £400,000 by shamelessly claiming her husband had died.
Although she has shown remorse, these fraudulent actions have tainted years of commendable work as NHS nurses for both her and her husband.
Jacqueline Kerwood, Claims Governance Manager for Individual Protection at Aviva, said:
This was a particularly audacious act of dishonesty by Mrs Bhebhe – in attempting to claim nearly £400,000 by falsely claiming her own husband’s death.
Fortunately, it was quickly detected by our expert investigators, and we’re pleased to see justice has been done.
This is also very good news for our genuine customers, who ultimately bear the cost of fraud through their premiums.
In this case, however, it’s Mrs Bhebhe who will pay the cost for her crime.