A Cayce man is expected to plead guilty today in federal court in Columbia in a case in which a man’s hand was amputated with a power saw to collect some $671,000 in insurance proceeds.
According to a plea agreement in the case, Gerald Hardin has agreed to plead guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
The federal government has jurisdiction in the case, because insurance companies sent checks via the U.S. mail as compensation for the dismemberment. The checks were received and cashed by Hardin and two other people in on the scheme, according to filings in the case.
The Sumter resident whose hand was cut off was receiving supplemental security income payments from the Social Security Administration, based upon what court filings in U.S. District Court called “a disability of mental retardation.”
One of the three people with whom Hardin allegedly schemed to get the insurance proceeds had been named as the insurance beneficiary for the victim in case he suffered a dismemberment, according to filings in the case.
No one else has pleaded guilty in the case.
As part of his plea deal, Hardin, who is in his 30s, will be expected to tell the government about “all criminal activities about which he has knowledge.”
Today’s hearing will be presided over by U.S. Judge Cameron Currie.