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Probe into Seaton Carew's back-from-the-dead canoeist John Darwin's finances
BACK-from-the-dead canoe fraudster John Darwin will again appear in court as police take a closer look at his finances.
The 63-year-old, from Hartlepool, faked his own death in a canoeing accident in 2002 so his then-wife Anne could claim hundreds of thousands of pounds.
But he now faces a new police probe under the Proceeds of Crime Act and is set to appear at Teesside Crown Court next week.
The former prison officer doesn’t have to appear at the hearing where details of his financial situation will be detailed to ensure he has disclosed all of his assets and bank accounts.
A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that the Regional Asset Recovery Team is conducting an investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) and that a directions hearing is scheduled for April 8 at Teesside Crown Court.
“The POCA legislation determines a value of how much a person benefited from crime and what they can afford to pay back. Police may revisit historic confiscation cases if it’s found that an individual has come into the possession of further assets and there is an outstanding amount on an order.”
In December he was jailed again after travelling to the Ukraine to find a new wife, but the 1,500-mile journey was undertaken without the permission of the Probation Service.
He needed its authority to travel because he was still on licence after being sentenced to six years and three months for the canoe fraud.
After faking his own death in 2002, Darwin continued to live in secret with his wife before they escaped to Panama to start a new life.
But in December 2007 Darwin walked into a London police station, claiming he had amnesia, and was reunited with his stunned sons.
His wife, then still in Panama, initially also claimed to be surprised - until a photograph emerged of them posing together.
Darwin admitted fraud so received a slightly shorter sentence than Anne, who denied the offences. They have now divorced.
In 2012, the Crown Prosecution Service managed to recover more than £500,000 worth of property, land and cash from the pair.
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