MAYWOOD, N.J. – A Maywood man “concocted an elaborate scheme” to try in cash in on a $500,000 life insurance policy that he obtained in the name of a man he didn't know, authorities said Tuesday.
Donald Blake, 45, took out the policy in the name of a “John White,” whom Blake said was his father-in-law and lived with him, state Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino said.
“Blake had no father-in-law named John White, and the John White whose personal information was listed on the Household Life Insurance policy is alive in New York and has no apparent connection to [him],” Porrino said.
After an Elizabeth man whom Blake knew died in his sleep at home in November 2013, Blake misidentified him as White and tried to cash in the policy, claiming that he’d died while visiting relatives, the attorney general said.
Blake “took out a sham life insurance policy in the name of a stranger, then spent years just waiting for someone to die so he could cash it in,” he said.
“It’s a classic example of the kind of fraud that undermines the integrity of the insurance system…[when] you strip away the macabre details,” Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Christopher Iu said. “When dishonest people lie and cheat to illegally collect payouts, it drives up costs for everyone.”
An indictment returned by a state grand jury charges Blake with theft by deception, conspiracy and insurance fraud.
Deputy Attorney General Michael Clore presented the case to the grand jury, Porrino said. Detectives Justin Callahan, Ronald Allen, Little Wright, and Investigator Marwa Kashef coordinated the investigation, he said.