Man admits to cutting person's hand off for insurance money - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Man admits to cutting person's hand off for insurance money

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Gerald Hardin (Source: Lexington County Detention Center) Gerald Hardin (Source: Lexington County Detention Center)

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A South Carolina man has pleaded guilty to a federal fraud charge in a scheme authorities say includes severed limbs.

Gerald B. Hardin of Cayce admitted in federal court in Columbia on Tuesday that he was part of an insurance fraud scheme. Hardin told Judge Cameron Currie that he used a pole saw to cut off the hand of a mentally disabled man in Sumter County in 2008.

According to prosecutors, Hardin said the impaired person's hand was tied to a branch and Hardin cut off his hand with a pole saw and later took him to the hospital for treatment. Efforts to re-attach the hand were ultimately unsuccessful. 

Federal prosecutors say another man filed insurance claims based on the injury and collected more than $671,000. In exchange for his participation, Hardin said that man loaned him money for a down payment on a new truck and paid some of his monthly rent.

Hardin has agreed to help prosecutors. He faces up to five years in prison when he's sentenced later.

Copyright 2012 WIS. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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