Man Allegedly Pays Someone to Cut Off His Legs for Insurance Fraud

A Missouri man allegedly tried to commit insurance fraud by paying someone to cut off both his legs and stage a tractor accident to cover it up.

The Howell County Sheriff’s Office recently investigated the most bizarre case in its history. In November of last year, a 60-year-old man from Willow Springs lost both his legs after allegedly suffering a brush hog accident. The brush hog is a rotary mower usually attached to tractors, and the man claimed to have had both legs accidentally cut off by one. However, there were a few holes in the man’s story. First of all, he had literally lost his legs, as in they were nowhere to be found, which was bizarre for this type of accident. Then there was the fact that the man’s wounds were too clean to have been caused by a brush hog. And finally, the man was a known paraplegic, which raised questions about how he had managed to find his way in the way of a tractor-operated brush hog.

Photo: Kenny Eliason/Unsplash

“If it was done by a brush hog, it would have been a bloody, gory mess,” Torey Thompson, a lieutenant with the Howell County Sheriff’s Office, told the Springfield News Reader. “I’ve seen those types of accidents before. This wasn’t like that.”

Officers and medical personnel called to the scene of the accident were also very curious about the tourniquets on the stumps of his legs and who had put them on immediately after the accident. As the investigation continued and more holes appeared in the injured man’s story, police discovered that a Florida man had visited the victim with a hatchet and allegedly chopped off his legs, for a fee.

It was later revealed that the 60-year-old paraplegic had devised a plan to commit insurance fraud, and since he didn’t really have any use for his legs anymore, he decided to have them chopped off in a staged accident. But since the man hadn’t yet filed a claim with the insurance company, there was no reason to charge him.

Photo: brush hog (Cornell University)

“It was a poorly executed plan, I’ve never seen anything quite like it,” Thompson said.

Even though the paraplegic man could not be officially charged with insurance fraud, the sherrif’s office was so annoyed with the waste of time and resources that it considered pressing charges of filing a false police/EMS report. The problem was that the man’s injuries were so severe that incarceration was virtually impossible. So the decided to let him recover in a hospital instead.

As for the man’s lost legs, a relative of his reportedly found them in a bucket concealed by tires and turned them over to investigators.

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