Glenn Todd, a highly-paid test specialist from Buckinghamshire, had been on the run from bailiffs and debt collectors since submitting fraudulent timesheets to a Jersey-based financial services company two years ago.
He was spotted by an IT contractor working in Germany, who recognised Todd's name after he was exposed in Computer Weekly for faking his death from cancer.
The scam came to light when Todd posted a message on the Friends Reunited website inviting former workmates to a reunion months after he had supposedly died.
Todd's recruitment agency, Walton-on-Thames based Jenrick-CPI, persuaded him to pay the money back after a tip-off from another contractor on its books.
Todd's German employer decided he was too valuable to lose, despite his chequered history. Jenrick-CPI's managing director Peter Jezeph said, "The scam was unbelievable, to pretend a death and to live with that pressure for two years. I just openly said to him this is your last chance. Don't mess up. Just agree to it. Don't walk away now because you will be walking away from the rest of your life."
It is unclear why Todd, who could afford to pay the money back in a matter of months without suffering financial hardship, went to such elaborate lengths to avoid repayment. He has blamed the problems on pressure from his ex-wife.
Warwick Bergin, director of The Triangle Partnership, the firm from which Todd stole the money, said he had spent more than £10,000 in solicitors' and debt collectors' fees trying to recoup the money, after the contractor went on the run from his Buckinghamshire home.
Bergin said media pressure and the goodwill of Jenrick-CPI had been instrumental in recovering the cash.