A Cayce man accused of cutting off a person’s hand as part of an insurance scam was released from jail Thursday.
Gerald B. Hardin posted $100,000 bond and was released from Lexington County Detention Center after turning himself in earlier this month. Federal prosecutors say he and another person used a pole saw to cut off an acquaintance’s hand to get a payout from four insurance policies in May 2008. He is charged with six crimes, including insurance fraud.
The other two people involved were not named in the Hardin’s federal indictment.
According to the indictment, Hardin and another person used a pole saw – a small chain saw attached to a pole used to cut tree branches – to cut off a third person’s hand to cash in on three accidental death and dismemberment policies and the homeowner’s insurance policy at the Sumter County home where the incident occurred. It’s unclear in the indictment who owned the home.
Dean Eichelberger, the U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case, said that after the person’s hand was cut off, the person was transported to the local hospital. They were later transported to a Charlotte hospital, where surgeons attempted to reattach the hand. The doctors were unsuccessful, Eichelberger said.
The indictment states that one of the people took out the accidental death and dismemberment policies on the person whose hand was amputated before the incident. The three received a little more than $671,000 in payouts from the policies and the homeowners insurance policy settlement, the indictment said. The FBI found out sometime later, Eichelberger said, and began investigating.
If convicted, Hardin faces up to 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. He also could be asked to pay back the amount of the insurance payouts. Hardin has a criminal record that includes assault, drug, criminal domestic violence and multiple DUI convictions.