Mother and son accused of scheming to fake her death for $3.77M in CPF, insurance payouts

Amir Hussain
Senior Reporter
Singaporeans Abraham Rock, 35, and his mother Talat Farman, 53, are accused of conspiring to cheat the CPF Board and several insurers. (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

SINGAPORE — A Singaporean man and his Pakistan-born Singaporean mother appeared in court on Friday (12 April) to face charges of conspiring to cheat the Central Provident Fund Board and several insurers out of almost $3.77 million.

As a result of their deception, by faking her death in Pakistan, the CPF Board and NTUC Income Insurance Co-operative disbursed a total of $129,331.23 to the 35-year-old son Abraham Rock. The CPF Board disbursed $80,331.23 while NTUC Income paid out $49,000 under its Dependants’ Protection Scheme.

But irregularities in documents related to his 53-year-old mother Talat Farman’s purported death in a road traffic accident in Peshawar, Pakistan, on 5 July last year led an insurer to lodge a police report in November last year.

At the State Courts on Friday, Rock was charged with eight counts of engaging in a conspiracy to cheat the CPF Board, NTUC Income Insurance Co-operative, AXA Insurance, MSIG Insurance and The Great Eastern Life Assurance Company.

He also faces three other charges – one count each of giving false information to a public servant, making a false statement in a statutory declaration, and fabricating evidence for use in a judicial proceeding.

Meanwhile, Farman was charged with five counts of engaging in a conspiracy to cheat the CPF Board and several of the insurers.

The alleged co-conspirators in the duo’s death scheme are named in their charge sheets as: Sheik Muhammad Kamran, Abdul Rahman Sheikh Muhammad Kamran and Sheikh Jawad Ahmed Raza. Other unknown persons are also believed to have been involved in the duo’s plot.

A convoluted scheme

On 16 July last year, Rock allegedly went to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and lied to an officer that his mother had died. As a result, her status in the Central Identification and Registration System was changed to “deceased”.

The next day, on 17 July, Rock purportedly submitted a police report from Bhana Mari Police Station, as well as a medical report and a death certificate from Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, to several of the insurers. He is alleged to have made a total of $3,639,998.86 in claims.

He allegedly wanted to claim $1 million from MSIG under a travel insurance plan, $1 million from Great Eastern under a personal accident insurance plan, $1 million from Great Eastern under a life insurance plan, $508,000 from AXA under a travel insurance plan, $71,998.86 from Great Eastern under a life insurance plan, and $60,000 from Great Eastern under a personal accident insurance plan.

A week later on 25 July, Rock purportedly submitted the same documents, as well as a copy of an invoice for a marble tombstone, to NTUC Income for a claim of $49,000.

Three weeks later, on 14 August, Rock is then alleged to have lied to the CPF Board that his mother Farman was dead, and got a payout of $80,331.23.

Later that month, on 31 August, Rock allegedly made a false statement in a statutory declaration before a Commissioner for Oaths. He purportedly lied that the information contained in his application for an Inheritance Certificate from the Syariah Court was accurate, when it was not.

And on 19 November, Rock allegedly lied that his mother had died in a supporting affidavit filed with the Family Justice Courts.

Rock was arrested by the police on 21 November. His mother was later arrested.

Rock and Farman did not enter a plea in court on Friday. They have engaged lawyer Ravinderpal Singh, and their cases will be mentioned again on May 10.

If found guilty of cheating, they can be jailed for up to 10 years along with a fine, per charge.

If convicted of making a false statutory declaration and providing false evidence, Rock can be jailed for up to seven years and fined per charge.

The maximum penalty for giving false information to a public servant is up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

In a statement after the duo were charged, the police said it worked in close collaboration with the insurers in investigating the case.

“In our continuous effort to combat fraud, it is vital for all insurers to be proactive in detecting and reporting suspicious cases to the authorities,” said the police.

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