A Slovenian woman who sawed off her own hand in a desperate attempt to collect insurance money was sentenced to two years in prison for insurance fraud this week. Prosecutors in Ljubljana said Julia Adlesic, 22, deliberately cut off her hand above the wrist last year and left it behind when she went to the hospital. Adlesic denied the charges, claiming she cut her hand in an addict while trimming branches. Her boyfriend was allegedly in on the scheme and has been sentenced to three years in prison. The boyfriend's father was sentenced to one year in prison.
Prosecutors said Adlesic and her boyfriend purposefully left the hand behind when she was taken to the hospital to make sure the injury would leave her permanently disabled. However, authorities recovered the hand and seed it back on, reports the BBC. Her boyfriend allegedly searched for artificial hands on the Internet and she took out five insurance policies in the year before she severed her hand. Prosecutors said she could have collected over €1 million (about $1.16 million) if the claim was successful.
During the trial, Adlesic claimed it was a genuine accident, reports Sky News. "No one wants to be crippled. My youth has been destroyed," she said. "I lost my hand at the age of 20. Only I know how it happened." The judge did not agree. "We believe the sentences are fair and appropriate and will serve their purpose," Judge Marjeta Dvornik said.
Insurance fraud schemes happen all over the world. In November 2019, a Randolph, New Jersey man was sentenced to two years of probation and 14 hours of community service for faking a slip and fall at a business in January of that year. Alexander Goldinsky, 58, was also ordered to pay $563.48 in restitution to an insurance company. Goldinsky pleaded guilty to third-degree insurance fraud, admitting he filed a false insurance claim, reports ABC7. He threw ice on the floor at his workplace cafeteria, then got on the ground and waited until he was found. He claimed he suffered a head injury.
In October 2018, a woman in China killed herself and her two children after she believed her husband died. The man had actually faked his own death in order to get insurance money he could use to pay off debts and was still alive. The woman, Dair Guihua, posted a note on social media, saying she saw no reason to live without her husband. His family claimed she was mentally ill.