5 Real-Life ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ Situations

By far the grimmest way to wear a pair of sunglasses
5 Real-Life ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ Situations

Making the news rounds today is the story of a Brazilian woman who toted an unusual bit of additional documentation to the bank for a loan — in the form of her dead uncle. Is the idea of cramming a deceased man into a taxi and then guiding his lifeless hand through the paperwork to take out a loan in his recently vacated name unpleasant? Of course it is. The fact is, though, that its simply the latest entry in humans long history of corpse desecration for monetary gain. Grave robbers are the O.G.s in the practice, but nowadays, with gold teeth at the pawn shop more likely to raise eyebrows, many people have looked for a more white-collar form of corpse puppetry. Frequently, for loans, or to collect the deceased’s pension.

Here are five other recent examples of people flopping around dead relatives for a paycheck…

A Bernie-Worthy Bank Withdrawal Attempt


“Hey, why does your card smell like a dead mans wallet?”

For the first entry, we dont even have to turn more than a page or two back in time. Only a month ago, in March, a dead man was driven to a bank in an attempt to withdraw money from his account. Karen Casbohm and Loreen Bea Feralo of Ohio, Im sure after some very heartfelt mourning, propped up the dead body of Douglas Layman in their car and hit a bank drive-thru window. It turns out bank drive-thru cameras arent hi-res enough to establish aliveness of all passengers, so they were able to withdraw an undisclosed amount of money. I get that estate distributions take a while, but waiting also doesnt get you charged with “gross abuse of a corpse.”

Post-Mortem Pension Collection

What seems to be a common motivator for these sorts of crimes is pension collection, as youll see in the following entries. I get the allure, as it would be great if you could cash in someone elses long career and transfer their retirement benefits. In fact, I can barely blame two men in Ireland for, upon realizing an elderly friend had passed, calling into the bank and seeing if he could pick up his pension for him. When that doesnt work, though, thats when you should really give up. Instead, after being informed the pensioner needed to be present for pick-up, they brought him along. Dead him. This is obviously not allowed, and so, they ditched the body and ran as soon as they were called out for what they were doing.

Japan Dead Parent Pension Collection


This was probably not part of their retirement plan.

Japan, apparently, could learn from Irelands requirements for the physical presence of a person for pension collection. Theres apparently a not-uncommon series of people hiding the death of their parents from the government in order to hoover up their pensions and retire early on their behalf. A man named Naoki Sera was arrested in 2023 for collecting his parents pensions for 10 years while he kept their bodies wrapped up in their bedroom, which feels… not entirely necessary? Ten years is plenty of time to dig a big enough hole in the backyard.

Japan Dead Parent Pension Collection, Perfected

A Japanese woman named Mitsue Suzuki, however, put Sera’s scheme to shame. She cashed in on her parents pensions for a significant amount of time after theyd exited this plane — 50 years, to be exact. The only reason she was ever found out? Her long-dead father had tied the record for the worlds oldest man, prompting the pension office to inquire after his health. By this point, she'd collected over $420,000 in pension money, and she was 86 herself, which to me, means she pretty much got away with it.

The Closest Weekend to Bernies


“He wouldve wanted us to get some top-shelf shit, dont you think?”

This last entry is probably the closest parallel to the movie in question, and one that drives home just how gross the plot would actually be IRL. In 2011, two friends in Denver apparently found a third friend dead in his home, a discovery they seemed to take in stride. They popped him in the backseat of their car and had a night out on the town, thanks to his as-of-yet uncanceled credit card. They went to a bar, a strip club and a burrito restaurant. 

I guess you could call it grief-eating, but I cant imagine wanting to eat that many beans on the day a friend died.

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