Having a Hand in Insurance Fraud

02 May, 2013 Bob Wilson


Times are tough in Spain. Unemployment is running about 19%, and investigators in the country say a sickening trend is emerging from a population desperate for money. Even in the face of great desperation, the lengths that some Spaniards will go in attempting insurance fraud can be shocking. Those authorities tell us that most recently two men have been arrested and charged with attempted fraud by severing their own hands in order to file a claim for dismemberment benefits. Even stranger, these two incidents were completely unrelated yet eerily similar, in that both cases were found to be fraudulent because the amputations were "too clean".


These guys actually cut their own hands off for (fraudulent) financial gain. How crazy is that? And to add insult to injury, they botched the job by not making the "point of separation" jagged or messy enough. 

So, to reiterate, they took a short cut by going for the quick clean slice, when the slower, time honored hacking, ripping and pulling method would have better concealed their felonious intent. Even the quick cut method had to have its challenges. This would be a very difficult thing to accomplish on your own. 

It is a shame these two men did not know each other. They could have given each other a hand. Literally. 

One of the men apparently claimed to have lost his hand in an auto accident, and proceeded to file over $3 million worth of claims with 11 insurers. Investigators became suspicious when it was determined, as I previously indicated, that the amputation was too clean to have been caused by a car accident. It was subsequently determined he used an electric saw to cut off his appendage. 

The second man apparently intentionally cut off his hand and arm above the elbow. Doctors determined in his case as well that the cut was too clean to have occurred by accident. He was seeking a mere $780,000 in compensation for his loss. Above the elbow. Don't you just hate over achievers?

I can honestly say these guys really have some cojones - unless of course they have already cut those off in the course of committing prior fraudulent claims. Sounds like they were planning to retire - one body part at a time.

I am tempted to suggest that just letting them be without remuneration would be punishment enough. Of course, the penal system doesn't work that way, and they will likely be facing incarceration for their efforts. It just goes to show that crime does not pay, even when you have a hand, or in this case don't have a hand, in insurance fraud.

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