Fraudster who faked his own death while pretending to be his wife is jailed
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A 50-year-old man who faked his own death and then pretended to be his grieving wife in order to defraud a friend has been jailed for 26 weeks.
In June 2020, Michael Robert William Cordwell, 50, previously of Corby, took on his wife’s identity and text a female friend pretending that he had died.
The friend was naturally devastated and also had immense sympathy for Cordwell’s “wife”, so when she received messages from “her” asking for money because times were hard, she obliged. Over a period of time, she sent more than £1300 to Cordwell.
The scam only came to a halt when police officers became involved and realised what Cordwell was doing. He was subsequently charged with fraud by false representation and this month, pleaded guilty to the offence.
He was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison for the fraud and an extra five weeks for breaching his conditions in relation to being on the Sex Offenders’ Register.
In their sentencing remarks, Magistrates said: “This offence is so serious because it happened over a period of time, upon a vulnerable victim, and you attempted to get her to delete the evidence. You have also struggled to display any victim empathy.”
Lead Investigator, PC James Brookes, said: “I am very pleased to see Michael Cordwell given time in prison for these offences.
“It was exceptionally calculated and deceptive to fake his own death in order to take advantage of the kind nature of this woman for financial gain – no amount of money is worth being so disloyal and dishonest to a genuine friend.
“I would like to commend the victim in this case who has shown great resolve in seeing our investigation through to the end.
“I hope when that cell door closes every night, Cordwell reflects on his greed and lack of humanity in order to ensure he makes better decisions when he is released from prison.
“The Management of Sexual Offenders and Violent Offenders (MOSOVO) Department strive to conduct proactive investigations into offending by Registered Sex Offenders and this is how Cordwell was brought to justice.”