A Slovenian woman who deliberately sawed off her own hand in order to claim insurance has been jailed for two years.
In one of the more grizzly insurance scam news stories of recent years, judges ruled that 22 year-old Julija Adlesic from Ljubljana, Slovenia had taken the intentional decision to severe left hand from above her wrist with a circular saw, having previously taken out five insurance policies a year previously. She was subsequently found guilty of attempted insurance fraud.
Adlesic was going to make £925,000 ($1.18m) in insurance payouts, with half paid immediately and the rest arriving in monthly instalments.
The plan was executed with her boyfriend. The pair left the severed hand at home when they were driven to a local hospital by her partner’s father, which meant it could not be re-attached. They said that Adlesic had been sawing branches when the accident happened.
During the trial, the young woman protested her innocence, Sky News reports. She said in court: “No one wants to be crippled. My youth has been destroyed. I lost my hand at the age of 20.
“Only I know how it happened.”
However, there were several pieces of evidence that ultimately suggested the act was intentional.
Most notable was the discovery that the defendant had signed up to several insurance companies. However, it was also revealed that her partner had been searching the internet for information on how artificial hands worked, suggesting this was indeed a pre-conceived plan.
As it turned out, their efforts to permanently remove Adlesic’s hand came to nothing anyway, as police discovered the severed limb and she was able to have it re-attached after all.
For his part in the fraud, Adlesic’s boyfriend was sentenced to three years in prison, while his father received a one-year suspended sentence.
Upon delivering the verdict, judge Marjeta Dvornik said: “We believe the sentences are fair and appropriate, and will serve their purpose.”
Incredibly the Slovenian couple aren’t the first to have used mutilated body parts in order to gain a cash pay out.
In 2012 in South Carolina, USA, a man named David Player was jailed for 14 years after persuading another man, Gerald Hardin, to cut off a disabled man’s hand with a pole saw, in order for a share of the insurance money.
Hardin also received a shorter jail sentence of three years and five months, for agreeing to take $5,000 as part of the plan.