Entries in Insurance Policy (2)


Josh Powell Changed Life Insurance Policy Before Murder-Suicide

KOMO/ABC News(NEW YORK) -- In the months before he killed himself and his two children in a fiery explosion, Josh Powell altered the terms of a $2.5 million life insurance policy on himself, his sons and his missing wife, Susan Cox Powell.

According to court documents filed by the New York Life Insurance Company in U.S. District Court, two of Powell's siblings have tried to make claims on the life insurance in the wake of their brother's murder-suicide.

Powell, who was called a "person of interest" in his wife's 2009 disappearance, killed himself and sons Braden, 7, and Charlie, 5, during a supervised-custody visit in February.

The insurance company is petitioning the court to decide who should receive the $2.5 million payout, since Powell is considered a "slayer" of his children and "person of interest" in his wife's disappearance -- terms that could disqualify him and his family as beneficiaries, it argues.

According to the lawsuit, Josh Powell changed the terms of his family's life insurance to designate his brother, Michael Powell, as the main beneficiary, with his sister and father to receive smaller percentages of the payout.

The insurance was first taken out during the summer of 2007, when Josh and Susan Powell took out $1 million policies each on themselves, and $250,000 riders on each of their children.  At the time, they designated one another as the beneficiaries.  The couple later set up a family trust, designating each of their fathers as beneficiaries of the trust, and naming the trust the beneficiary of the life insurance.

Then, two years later, in December 2009, Susan disappeared.  Police have never located her body and have made no arrests in connection with her disappearance, though Josh Powell was the only one named a person of interest in the case.

In October 2011, just weeks after his father was arrested on charges of child porn and voyeurism, Josh Powell changed the beneficiary of the life insurance.  No longer would the family trust receive the life insurance payouts; instead, Josh Powell's siblings would become the beneficiaries, according to the court documents.

The changes resulted in Susan Powell's father, Chuck Cox, losing his claim on the life insurance.

Two months later, Powell once again changed the beneficiary information, designating his brother, Michael Powell, as the beneficiary who would receive 93 percent of the pay out, while his sister Alina would receive 4 percent, and a third sibling would receive three percent.  He designated his father Stephen as a secondary beneficiary.

Powell made the final beneficiary change on Dec. 3, less than two months before he killed himself and his children on Feb. 5, 2012.

Nine days later, both Michael and Alina Powell contacted New York Life Insurance Co. to make a claim on the policies.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Exclusive: Aruba Suspect Took Out $1.5 Million Insurance Policy

Courtesy of Richard Forester(ORANJESTAD, Aruba) -- Authorities in Aruba are investigating an insurance policy taken out by Gary Giordano before his trip to Aruba as a possible motive in the disappearance of missing Maryland woman Robyn Gardner.

The investigation into the $1.5 million accidental death policy on Gardner -- which names Giordano as a beneficiary -- has been confirmed exclusively with ABC News by a police source in Aruba, as has the fact that he purchased the pricier one-year policy over the cheaper, more commonly purchased five-year policy.

Gardner, 35, has been missing for two weeks, since reportedly snorkeling with Giordano off of an isolated beach on Aug. 2.  The two traveled together from Maryland to Aruba on July 31.  She is now presumed to be dead by Aruba police.

The FBI is also investigating the American Express accidental death policy and has agents in Aruba to question Giordano -- a man whom court documents show is trailed by a history of domestic violence.

Giordano, 50, was ordered this week to remain in an Aruban jail for another 16 days while police investigate what they say are "serious inconsistencies" in his story.  Investigators have found apparent gaps in time between when witnesses saw the pair on the beach and the timeline Giordano gave when he reported Gardner missing.

Though he has not been charged with a crime, Giordano remains the only suspect in the case.

Surveillance video from local businesses place Giordano and Gardner at the Rum Reef Bar & Grill in the Baby Beach area of the island before Gardner went missing, a police source in Aruba told ABC News.  Restaurant staff said that Gardner seemed woozy while the two ate; Giordano later told police they'd been drinking vodka at the Marriott before dining, and that she'd taken sleeping pills earlier in the day, the police source said.

Video also shows Giordano in his rental car parked in the back of the bar and restaurant.  The Toyota Rav-4 had tinted windows, so no one else in the vehicle can be identified.  Giordano parked the car in the back parking lot twice; he told police that he wanted to park in the shade, the police source told ABC News.

The car was cleaned once Giordano returned the car to the Star rental at Aruba's airport, so police were unable to investigate the vehicle, according to police in Aruba.  The rental agents said that they didn't notice anything unusual when it was cleaned.

Investigators have also said that they had trouble identifying Giordano in surveillance video because he frequently changed his toupees.

At approximately 6:02 p.m., after Gardner went missing, the police source said that Giordano is also seen in surveillance video, tapping on closed shutters of the bar -- seemingly making his presence known.  At approximately 6:20 p.m. he headed to the back kitchen of the bar and told someone to call police.

Authorities said that that they found blood on a rock behind the dive shop at the Rum Reef Bar & Grill, which is the last place the two were seen together.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio