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5 Instances of Real-Life ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ Scenarios

Making headlines today is the tale of a Brazilian woman who brought an unconventional piece of documentation to the bank while applying for a loan. Although the notion of squeezing a deceased individual into a taxi and maneuvering their lifeless hand through paperwork to secure a loan in their name posthumously is undeniably distasteful, it represents just the latest instance of exploiting corpses for financial gain throughout history. While grave robbers traditionally pioneered this practice, modern times have seen a shift towards more sophisticated forms of postmortem manipulation, such as using deceased individuals as puppets to obtain loans or access pensions.

Below are five recent incidents where individuals resorted to using deceased relatives for financial benefits:

1. An Unorthodox Bank Visit

In a recent incident from March, two individuals from Ohio, Karen Casbohm and Loreen Bea Feralo, took a deceased man, Douglas Layman, to a bank drive-thru. By strategically positioning the body in their vehicle, they successfully withdrew funds from the bank, exploiting the limitations of drive-thru cameras. While the allure of accessing estate funds promptly is understandable, resorting to such extreme measures can lead to legal repercussions.

2. Pension Procurement Post-Passing

The quest for pension benefits often drives individuals to commit such acts, as evidenced by the following cases. In Ireland, two men attempted to collect a deceased friend’s pension by pretending he was still alive. When confronted with the requirement for the pensioner to be physically present for collection, they resorted to carrying the deceased individual, only to flee upon detection.

3. Deceptive Pension Claims in Japan

Instances of concealing parental deaths to fraudulently claim pensions are not uncommon in Japan. Naoki Sera’s arrest in 2023 for collecting his parents’ pensions over a decade highlights the extent to which some go to exploit such benefits. This deceptive practice, while lucrative, inevitably leads to legal consequences.

4. Prolonged Pension Deception in Japan

Mitsue Suzuki’s elaborate scheme to collect her parents’ pensions for an astonishing 50 years showcases the lengths individuals may go to exploit financial entitlements posthumously. Her evasion of detection for such an extended period underscores the audacity and complexity of her fraudulent activities.

5. Weekend at Bernie’s Reenactment

In a macabre incident in Denver, two friends nonchalantly transported a deceased acquaintance to various establishments, including a bar, strip club, and restaurant. This bizarre reenactment of the movie “Weekend at Bernie’s” underscores the disturbing nature of exploiting a deceased individual for personal gratification, raising ethical concerns about the boundaries of grief and morality.