$270,000 in missing money seized in strange insurance scheme - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

$270,000 in missing money seized in strange insurance scheme

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

The strange case of an insurance scheme that cost a man his left hand back in 2008 has taken another turn as federal agents located $270,000 worth of missing money connected to the case.

According to US District Court records, agents on Sept. 19 seized 2,700 $100 bills from 52-year-old Michael Weaver, a mentally disabled man who lost his hand.

Despite locating the large cash hoard, government investigators say $30,000 remains missing.

Court documents say David Player, who confessed and pleaded guilty to mail fraud back on Sept. 13, gave Weaver the cash and instructions to deposit the money in a bank safe deposit box.

Investigators say Weaver tried to deposit the money, but bank tellers refused to accept the funds.

This new information appears to contradict what Player told the court during his plea hearing. In the hearing, Player said he had given Weaver the $300,000 several months ago.

But Weaver's court appointed council says Player approached Weaver with the money in the hours after his hearing.

The case began back in May 2008, when Player and Gerald B. Hardin brought Weaver into the emergency room at Tuomey Medical Center with the severed hand.

According to their story, Hardin and Player told officials that the trio were cutting tree branches with a pole saw when it slipped off and cut Weaver's hand off. Attempts to reconnect the hand were unsuccessful.

In actuality, federal investigators say Hardin and Player tied Weaver's arm to a tree branch and sawed arm off with the pole saw.

Player, acting as Weaver's power of attorney, filed an insurance claim on Weaver and the insurance company settled the case for $375,000. In the weeks that followed, Hartford sent out several more checks in connection to the case. In all, Player received $671,125.

However, just before the incident, court documents allege Player obtained several accidental death and dismemberment insurance policies on Weaver and convinced Hardin to help him cut off Weaver's hand in order to obtain insurance money.

Federal officials say Player used the money to buy a house for his son, build a storage unit on his property, and buy a Dodge Dakota for Hardin.

Hardin has also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in this case. 

Player and Hardin are scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 14.

Copyright 2012 WIS. All rights reserved.

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