In 2018, May and her husband were involved in a fraud that would see the pair pretending that she had passed away after suffering a stroke in order that her expensive private medical bills could be met. May thought that the extent of the fraud would be a false life insurance claim while she lived in Costa Rica while pretending to be deceased, accepting that this would mean that she would be cut off from her unwitting daughter during the interim.
Back in Weatherfield, Duncan took matters further to fill the remaining funding gap: He visited Sally Metcalfe in her role of mayor to request her help with a grant in the sum of £40,000 for a charity he wished to set up in May's name. Sally fell for the scam which led to the funds being channelled through a false bank account. To her horror, she found that Duncan had laid an elaborate trail which led straight back to her as his co-accomplice.
Both Sally and Duncan were arrested and tried in November 2018 with Sally receiving a four-year sentence for fraud after Duncan's evidence in court appeared to make her the more guilty of the two parties.
Gina Seddon broke into Duncan's flat in January 2019 in hope that she would find some evidence to incriminate him. She discovered that May was in fact alive, and that Duncan was making calls from a public phone box to Costa Rica. She relayed this information to Sally's husband Tim and daughter Sophie in the hope that it would be enough grounds for Sally's appeal. The police weren't interested in the information as the telephone number in Costa Rica appeared to be that of an empty property. Matters took a surprising turn though when Duncan was badly injured when knocked down by a van, bringing May rushing back to Weatherfield to see him. By coincidence, Sophie was in the reception of Weatherfield General when May arrived and enquired under a false name for Duncan. Recognising her from a photograph that Olivia had posted on social media of her parents, Sophie claimed to be a neighbour of Duncan's and offered to drive her to a fictional specialist hospital where he had supposedly been taken. On the way there, with her phone recording the conversation, she tried to get May to incriminate herself but she lost the woman when she had to stop in Rosamund Street to answer a text from Tim.
It was Gina who found her round the corner in Victoria Street as she came out of Costa Coffee. She was more upfront with May, telling her about Duncan's actions and the dreadful effect that it'd had on Sally. May went with Gina to Duncan's bedside and, telling him that she wanted to see her daughter again, told him he had gone too far and pushed him into confessing.
The police took the pair in for questioning and advised Tim and Sophie to apply for Sally's release.