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Unbelievable! Australian gym owner fakes her own death to claim $500k insurance payout

The woman faked her own death and submitted fabricated documents while posing as her partner to get the insurance payout. The plot unravelled after the bank got suspicious and froze the gym owner's account.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Canberra Published on: June 22, 2024 17:50 IST
Representational Image
Image Source : PIXABAY Representational Image

Canberra: In the wildest of the wild twists, an Australian gym owner was found to have faked her own death in order to claim a $500,000 insurance payout as part of an elaborate plot where she posed as her partner. Karen Salkilld, 42, was arrested in March after filing her insurance claim in her partner's name, falsely claiming that she herself had died in a car accident, according to a report by the New York Post.

The claim included several fabricated documents, such as a death certificate, a letter by the Coroner's Court of Western Australia delegate and an investigation record into a death. The insurance company then transferred $477,520.26 into a bank account that Salkilld had set up in her partner’s name, the report said.

However, things took a dire turn for the 'deceased' gym owner's devious plot when her bank flagged and subsequently froze the suspicious account. A clearly desperate Salkilld then visited a police station with several forms of ID, apparently certified by an officer, in an attempt to unfreeze the account to access the fund. She was then asked by a reporter, "Why did you fake your own death?"

"What the hell? Who are you guys? I’m not talking to you guys," she replied. Salkilld was told that she was charged with serious fraud offences, including an intent to defraud knowingly using any record which is false and carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison. She later pleaded guilty and her sentencing in the District Court is scheduled for July.

Saikilld was identified as a former assistant coach and the owner of the F45 gym in Perth, Australia. She has two children.

In a separate case, a mother-of-four was charged with defrauding people of more than $25,000 by falsely claiming that she was battling breast cancer. Tara Michelle Enoka was earlier this month charged with gaining benefit by fraud, after a GoFundMe was set up to help her with her alleged battle with breast and cervical cancer, according to New York Post.

According to police, more than 500 people from 16 countries donated a total of just over $37,000, most of which Enoka transferred to her personal bank account. She also created a video on a separate website to assist with promoting the fundraising activity with the hashtag #StandwithTara.

ALSO READ | Cybercriminals adopting new methods for fraud, survey reveals shocking insights: Details here


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