Investigating fake deaths in Dominican Republic


One of our clients, the Investigative Department of a large European insurance company, requested our help to investigate the alleged death in the Dominican Republic, of one of its life-insurance policy-holders.

Our client was suspected of attempted fraud because none of the documents presented as back-up with the insurance claim, appeared to be original. They were all alleged photocopies.

The claimant provided to the insurance company the following "documents" which we were asked to authenticate:

Forged Dominican Death Certificate

Through our contacts in the Civil Registry Office we knew that the alleged death certificate was forged, and that the unique event number on the top right of the page did not exist, however we were unable to obtain an official confirmation that the certificate was a fake, hence our need to disprove the remaining backup documents:

Death Confirmation from a Dominican Medical Examiner

The claimant had provided a forged confirmation-of-death statement, allegedly written and signed by a Dominican medical examiner. Below the signature was the examiner's medical license (in Spanish: exequátur) number We were able to obtain from the Dominican Public Health Ministry written confirmation that there was no licensed doctor by that name, and that the alleged medical license number belonged to another doctor.

Forged Dominican burial statement

We visited the cemetery where the alleged deceased had been buried, and took with us the alleged burial statement signed by the director of the cemetery. He was able to confirm to us that he had not issued the burial statement, and that the statement's letterhead was fake. Furthermore, he provided us with further backup to discredit the alleged burial statement: accounts paperwork from the day of the alleged burial, and the cemetery's log of funeral processions.

Forged Dominican apostilles

The Legalization Department of the Dominican Foreign Ministry confirmed to us in writing that the alleged numbered apostilles which appeared on the reverse side of the alleged official documents mentioned above, did not exist. A prior check by us of the apostilles on the apostille-verification page of the Dominican Foreign Ministry also confirmed that the apostilles were not genuine.