Thursday, December 01, 2005

I understand being in debt sucks but...

Insurance investigators finger former nail designer

SALZBURG, Austria - Prosecutors say a former fingernail designer deliberately put his hands under a passing train, severing a thumb and two fingers, to collect an insurance policy.

The 35-year-old, whose name was withheld because of Austrian privacy laws, was charged with insurance fraud.

The suspect told police he was riding his bicycle in November 2003 when he lost control and rolled down an embankment. He said he rolled onto the tracks just as a train was passing by, losing a thumb on one hand and an index finger and a pinky on the other.

Insurance investigators became suspicious after discovering the man had taken out a $1.17 million policy a few months earlier.

Attorney Karl Wampl said it was outlandish that his client would intentionally mutilate himself on the tracks, contending he could have used a power saw to cut off his fingers rather than risk death by faking a train accident.

The suspect has said he had accumulated about $175,000 in debts at the time he lost the fingers, prosecutors said.

If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison, authorities said. | Insurance investigators finger former nail designer

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