Scammer who tried to pry $1.3 million from insurance companies caused double amputation after dry ice incident

A Taiwanese man has been hit with insurance fraud charges after attempting to claim more than $1 million in payouts for a double amputation after self-inflicted dry ice injuries, according to Newsweek.

The 24-year-old man was only identified by his last name, Chang. He reportedly lost both of his legs below the knees after he suffered fourth-degree frostbite, bone necrosis, and sepsis. After the incident, Chang tried to apply for compensation from eight different insurance policies with five companies that totaled around $1.3 million.

Additionally, Chang claimed that he was initially injured while riding his scooter at night, according to the report. While one insurance company paid Chang $7,000, the other four companies contacted the authorities after they discovered that the policies were purchased peculiarly close when the injuries occurred.

The New York Post reported that the indictment said Chang was injured after a friend strapped him into a chair and left him to sit with his feet immersed in a plastic bucket filled with dry ice. Chang reportedly sat in this position for several hours.

Chang’s friend, Liao, agreed to help Chang pull off the quick cash grab after he said a gang was apparently after him, according to the Taiwan News. Details about an alleged gang being after the man has not been confirmed.

Liao — who was familiar with Chang from college — took photos of the hours-long incident, according to the authorities.

Newsweek reported that Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau said they discovered several irregularities with Chang’s story. Not only did Chang purchase insurance policies just days before the incident, but he also claimed he had suffered frostbite during a trip on a cold day.

“However, Taiwan is a subtropical region. There are no known cases of serious frostbite requiring amputation due to natural climate factors in the flatlands,” according to the bureau.

After authorities looked into what the weather was like the day of the alleged incident, they discovered that it was between 43-62.5 degrees, which is too warm for frostbite to occur, per the report.

Another suspicious element to Chang’s story is that his injuries were considered “symmetrical,” which is reportedly rare in frostbite cases. The photographs also suggested Chang was not wearing socks when the injuries occurred, which the authorities concluded were “man-made.”

Chang and Liao have both been charged with insurance fraud and attempted insurance fraud.

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