Latest News

Couple’s $1 million life insurance scam fails after man got scared and refused to jump in front of train

By Mason White 5:08 PM June 30, 2015
Train illustration 

By: Mahesh Sarin
A woman and her boyfriend came up with an insurance scam in which the boyfriend would jump in front of a train.

Esther Maree Vella, who works as a school teacher, had a debt of $700,000 on a property she owned in Australia.

She was determined to get rid of it.

Vella, 51, of Strathfield, Sydney, devised a plan in which her partner Peter Siskos, would increase his life insurance policy to $1.7 million, and make her the sole beneficiary.

He would then commit suicide. However, the plan backfired when Siskos, 49, who works as a security guard, became scared and refused to throw himself in front of a train.

Instead, he disappeared from work for a week and a half until it was found. The couple was then arrested on insurance fraud charges.

Several witnesses testified in court that Vella was controlling and she repeatedly blamed Siskos for her financial troubles. She also “wished he was dead.”

The couple was found guilty of the charges by a jury.

Vella was sentenced to six and half years in prison, while Siskos was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

Vella and Siskos appealed their convictions and sentences. However, the Court of Criminal Appeal dismissed the appeals.