Shortly after 9/11, when the entire country was in a state of absolute Red Alert, a $5 million life insurance claim was received by a major insurance company. The deceased was a 36-year-old businessman of Middle Eastern descent. It was reported that he had taken a trip to his home country to visit relatives, had become ill and subsequently died.

When asked for the hospital records, the hospital promptly forwarded them. The family provided the death certificate and other supporting documentation. But the adjuster's sixth sense kicked in when everything looked too perfect, and he looked a little deeper. The insured had no history beyond five years prior to his death. There was no wife, no US family and no medical records. All of his property, a considerable amount, had been accumulated in only the five years. And the beneficiary of the policy, a relative in the Middle East, was none other than an immediate female relative of Osama Bin Laden.

A thorough investigation revealed that the insured had never existed. He had been produced on paper, insured for a very large amount, and then died on paper. The claim was not paid and the "grieving relatives" disappeared from the radar.

Was this the first claim of its kind, or had others been presented and paid before? More to the point, did insurance fraud contribute to the funding of 911? Most of those familiar with the fight against fraud would answer "yes" to those questions. Frightening, isn't it?