Prosecutors: Man cut off friend's hand for insurance money

Published: Feb. 23, 2012 at 6:57 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 4, 2012 at 6:57 PM EST
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Gerald B. Hardin (Source: Lexington County Detention Center)
Gerald B. Hardin (Source: Lexington County Detention Center)

CAYCE, SC (WIS) - A Midlands man is in jail accused of working with two other people to defraud an insurance company by intentionally cutting a person's hand off with a pole saw and then filing an insurance claim.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Gerald B. Hardin, 34, of Cayce, was arrested on charges that he and two other people committed mail fraud in May 2008.

Prosecutors said, while living in Sumter, Hardin and another person devised a plan to use a small chain saw attached to a pole to cut the third person's hand off.

The three participants, according to a six-count indictment, then submitted claims against a homeowner's insurance policy and three accidental death and dismemberment policies and received over $671,000.

Neither the other person who helped or the person whose hand was severed are identified in the indictment.

The maximum penalty Hardin could receive on each count is 20 years imprisonment and $250,000 in fines.

Hardin made his initial appearance in federal court on Feb. 21.  He is currently being held on a $100,000 bond.

The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Dean A. Eichelberger of the Columbia office for prosecution.

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