A Cayce man pled guilty to cutting off a mentally disabled man’s hand with a saw in order to collect insurance money.
Attorney Bill Nettles announced Tuesday that 34-year-old Gerald Hardin pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Federal prosecutors say Hardin told them a third man, who has yet to be identified, filed the insurance claims based on the injury and collected more than $671,000 by claiming that the disabled man lost his hand in a tree-cutting accident.
Nettles said that the mentally disabled man, who also has not been identified, agreed to have his hand cut off in 2008 so he could pay off his trailer and moped. Hardin said that after he had fulfilled his part of the deal the third man loaned him money for a down payment on a truck and also helped Hardin pay some of his rent with the insurance money.
Hardin could face up to 5 years in prison, but will likely get a reduced sentence because he agreed to help investigators. A judge will hold a sentencing hearing on November 20.
South Carolina Radio Network’s Tripp Girardeau contributed to this report