Woman who sawed off her hand for $1M found guilty of fraud in Slovenia

Would you give up your hand for $1 million?

A Slovenian woman and her boyfriend have been sentenced to prison for attempted insurance fraud, after she deliberately cut off her hand in hopes of claiming more than 1 million euros ($1.56 million) in insurance payouts last year.

Julija Adlesic, 22, appeared in a Ljubljana courtroom to hear the verdict on Friday. She kept her reattached hand under a blanket throughout the sentencing hearing, which attracted widespread attention in Slovenia.

The judge slapped Adlesic with a two-year prison term for attempted fraud. She also handed Adlesic’s boyfriend a three-year prison sentence for his role in the scheme, and gave the boyfriend’s dad a one-year suspended sentence.

The bizarre case dates back to 2018 when Adlesic took out five separate insurance policies on herself. She then sliced off her left hand at the wrist with a circular saw in early 2019. The boyfriend and his father brought Adlesic to the emergency room without the hand to ensure it would not be reattached, prosecutors said. They claimed she’d cut it off while cutting tree branches.

Police went to her home and recovered the severed hand just in time for it to be sewn back on.

The court found that Adlesic’s boyfriend had looked up artificial hands shortly before the amputation took place. They argued that his search history proved it was a deliberate act, and that he’d talked Adlesic into giving up her left hand for $1 million.

Adlesic had argued throughout the trial that it was an accident, and that she would never have deliberately amputated her hand.

“No one wants to be crippled,” she said during the trial, according to Sky News. “My youth has been destroyed. I lost my hand at the age of 20. Only I know how it happened.”

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