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What drove a man to attempt amputation of his legs for $1.3 million? A foolish scam in Taiwan

A university student in Taiwan who underwent a leg amputation, hoping to obtain insurance compensation worth $1.3 million, was arrested for defrauding the law.

The Taiwan Criminal Investigation Bureau report stated that the 23-year-old, known as Zhang, placed his feet in a bucket of dry ice for more than 10 hours, causing them to suffer a condition known as “severe frostbite” that led to the amputation of his legs.

After his legs were amputated, he applied for financial compensation using eight insurance policies worth $1.3 million, citing the damage he sustained while riding his scooter at night. But his request was rejected due to doubts about the date of purchase of the insurance policy just days before requesting compensation.

After riding the motorcycle, Zhang doused his feet with dry ice and was taken to the hospital, investigators said. But the medical staff sensed something was wrong while assessing his condition. No shoe or sock marks were detected on his legs, and his injuries appeared symmetrical, which is not consistent with normal frostbite.

“Since Taiwan is a subtropical region, cases of severe frostbite requiring amputation due to natural weather conditions are not unheard of,” the office said in its statement.

It turned out that Zhang's high school classmate (named Liao) convinced him to carry out this scam, to compensate losses from cryptocurrency trading. He also tricked Zhang into signing a legal memorandum requiring him to pay about $800,000.

The investigation revealed that the police found the plastic bucket Zhang used to freeze his feet, insurance documents, a white polystyrene box for dry ice, eight mobile phones and a tablet computer.

Liao and Zhang were arrested and charged with fraud and incitement of indecent acts, which led to Zhang losing both his legs and money.

Source: Business Insider -Publication date: 22/03/2024 -


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