Far Out Friday: Couple’s grizzly pact to defraud insurance carrier almost worked…almost

by Will Ashworth10 Jul 2015
An Australian teacher hatched a plan in 2010 to pay off $700,000 in debt on her property – a plan that ultimately led to a six-and-a-half year sentence for conspiring with her partner to defraud an insurance company. 
 
The details of which are impossible to comprehend.
 
Esther Marie Vella convinced Peter Siskos, her long-suffering partner, to take out additional insurance on his life. Once the 13-month suicide preclusion was up in October 2011, the security guard would jump in front of a train at a local station in suburban Sydney.
 
Up for grabs was $1.7 million, more than enough to pay down Vella’s debt on her boarding house property.
 
There were a couple of problems with their plan.
 
The couple, together since 1988, were said to have a very tumultuous relationship in which Vella utterly ran roughshod over Siskos making his cooperation tenable at best.
 
Ultimately, Siskos couldn’t go through with ending his own life choosing instead to disappear in the woods. Ten days later he was reported missing and found in a local park looking quite dishevelled denying that he knew anything about the macabre plan.
 
They were caught when a tenant at the teacher’s boarding house, who had conspired with Vella to destroy incriminating evidence, agreed to wear a wire for police capturing a conversation between the two that revealed the entire caper and all its sordid details.
 
Siskos and Vella were both convicted by the District Court In October 2013 with Siskos getting two-and-a-half years for his part in the insurance fraud. The appeal was heard in June; the jury found both guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. 
 

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