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Man gets five years for fake death scam

Jan. 26, 2011 at 2:35 PM   |   Comments

PENSACOLA, Fla., Jan. 26 (UPI) -- A Florida restaurant owner is getting five years in prison for fabricating his own death with his wife's help.

Senior U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson sentenced Ismael Rodriguez Tuesday in Pensacola and will sentence his wife Maria Feb. 11, the Pensacola News Journal reported. He also ordered the man to pay $4,645 in restitution and $1,200 in fines.

In November, a jury convicted the couple of fraud and mail fraud.

Ismael Rodriguez, who owns two Cazadores Mexican restaurants in Pensacola, took out four life insurance policies totaling $2 million with Modern Woodmen of America between April 2002 and May 2006.

In 2008, the couple traveled to Mexico and faked Ismael's death, the government charged. Maria Rodriguez got a death certificate, returned to the United States, and filed the insurance claim.

She testified she believed her husband had been kidnapped and murdered in Mexico.

The government introduced customs records establishing that Ismael Rodriguez crossed the border during the time his wife claimed he was dead.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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