Fraudster’s Bizarre Scheme Backfires Majorly

After his alleged plot resulted in the removal of both of his legs below the knees, a man from Taiwan is facing criminal charges for trying to scam insurance companies out of over a million dollars.

Chang, a college student,  reportedly attempted to collect almost $1.3 million in insurance payouts after claiming frostbite on his legs while riding his scooter throughout Taiwan.

Doctors had to amputate his lower legs due to severe frostbite and necrosis, which they found to have been caused by long-term exposure to dry ice, according to Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau.

According to the indictment, Chang and his friend Liao allegedly obtained the dry ice on January 26, 2023.

According to investigators, Chang sat strapped down in a chair for almost ten hours with his legs in a container of dry ice.

Officials said that Liao had documented and photographed the stunt, which showed Chang’s legs exhibiting stress and swelling. After hospitalization on January 28, 2023, he underwent a below-the-knee amputation on February 6, 2023.  Subsequently, he submitted claims to one insurance company and received NT$230,000 (USD 7,265.49).

Although a few insurance companies paid out his claims, suspicions were aroused because many policies were bought in the days before the tragedy.

Taiwan has a subtropical climate. Natural climatic elements in the flatlands have not resulted in any known occurrences of severe frostbite necessitating amputation, according to the CIB’s press release. The temperatures varied from the lower 40s to the low 60s Fahrenheit on the date of the reported scooter incident.

According to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office, Chang had unusually symmetrical frostbite wounds that showed no signs of contact with his footwear.

Chang allegedly informed authorities that Liao had forewarned him of gang members’ intentions against him, which led to the insurance scam for money.  According to a report, the mastermind behind the operation, Liao, allegedly lost money in the Bitcoin market and sought a way to get some cash. The article said Chang had promised Liao over half of the insurance money in a written agreement.

Both were charged with embezzlement and fraud by the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office.