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Thursday, January 31st, 2008

‘Dead’ Man Flushed Out

Written by Tom Somach in Poker News

A British gambler, who lost $100,000 playing poker, has been sentenced to prison for stealing a dead man’s identity in an effort to avoid paying off the gambling losses.

According to a report by the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), Norman Kay, 63, of Devon, England, planned to disappear and secretly meet up with his wife under a new name, but the plan failed.

Instead, Kay pleaded guilty to improperly obtaining a passport, making false representations and attempted deception, and was sentenced to nine months in prison, the BBC reported.

Kay was heavily in debt after losing in high-stakes poker games, and decided to resurrect himself as Christopher Francis, a friend who was born the day before him and who died in 1974, the BBC reported.

Kay obtained a passport, birth certificate and National Health Service medical card in the name of Francis, and planned to move abroad and live off benefits under the dead man’s name, the BBC reported.

The police eventually caught up with him, however, when they figured out he was living a double life in two cities, the BBC reported.=A0

“He felt useless as Norman Kay, and in sheer desperation decided that Kay would cease to exist and Christopher Francis would be reborn,” Piers Norsworthy, Kay’s attorney, said.

The judge who sentenced Kay told him: “You were trying to escape from your 50,000-pound gambling debts and were using the identity of a dead friend who had been known to you for many years. The authorities are clear this type of activity must be eradicated. If and when people are found out, they will receive immediate prison sentences.”

(E-mail Tom Somach at [email protected])

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