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Is It Illegal to Fake Your Own Death?

By Aditi Mukherji, JD | Last updated on

A California rapper who faked his own death has been arrested. No, you guys, it's not Tupac.

Tim Dog, born Timothy Blair, reportedly died in February from diabetes-related complications. But a woman named Esther Pilgrim has accused the "F--- Compton" artist of faking his own death to avoid making court-ordered repayments to women he scammed, reports the New York Daily News.

But is it illegal to fake your own death?

The short answer: Nope.

"I am unaware of any federal statute that would apply to an individual who fakes their own death," FBI spokesman Bill Carter told Life's Little Mysteries.

So designing a faux death is perfectly alright. In and of itself, it's weird and kind of sad, but not illegal.

However, the consequences of pretending to join the afterlife can come back to haunt you. It's almost impossible to fake your own death without eventually breaking a few laws.

Even though pseudocide (faking one's own suicide) isn't inherently a crime, you'll basically be drowning in fraud.

After faking a death, you may be fraudulently:

  • Stealing life insurance,
  • Implicating your spouse as part of the con if he or she files a false police report,
  • Evading state and federal taxes, or perhaps
  • Violating court-ordered legal and financial obligations.

The criminal and civil penalties for these crimes can be stiff. They are typically felonies that can include jail, heavy fines, probation, and/or restitution.

In the case of the rapper who faked his own death, Tim Dog (aka Blair) had been paying off $19,000 in restitution to Esther Pilgrim after a 2010 grand larceny conviction. Pilgrim believes that she's not Blair's only victim, but that the rapper likely scammed millions of dollars from others, convincing women to invest in an album he never planned to record.

Violating the court order will be a major problem for the death stunt Blair allegedly pulled.

Should you decide to return from the dead with a new identity, you will be defrauding every government agency that processes your new identity -- not to mention your old identity. And you're defrauding new lenders if you buy a house or car under your new identity.

When you think about it, that's not much of a fresh start. Choose life.

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