Regardless of if they succeed or fail, there certainly should be some credit given to certain individuals who really come up with some outlandishly creative attempts at insurance extortion. They don’t generally succeed—so don’t try these at home—but they certainly are interesting.
1. Ahh! There’s a Mouse in My Soup!
At a Cracker Barrel in Virginia, Carla Patterson put on quite the head-turning performance for the dining patrons; unfortunately, it wasn’t sanctioned by the restaurant.
After allegedly finding a dead mouse in her soup, Carla stood up from her table and screamed in horror and fright, alongside an equally compelling performance from her own son. To soothe her trauma from such a sight, she demanded that the restaurant’s insurance company dish out $500,000 in emotional damages.
Not convinced by the performances, the insurance company ordered an autopsy of the mouse and the results showed that the mouse had not been cooked, nor did it have a single trace of soup in its lungs.
With their plot foiled, both Ms. Patterson and her son were charged with extortion in April of 2006.
2. The Great Princess Caper!
With a no-limit American Express Centurion credit card as her accomplice, con artist Lisa Walker managed to fool all of New York’s high society into thinking that she was Princess Antoinette, a Saudi royal.
However, becoming a princess was just the setup for the long-game of her scheme, as her true motive was to stage a mugging of the insured jewelry she’d purchased with the credit card to authenticate her princess status.
Claiming that $262,000-worth of said jewelry was stolen, she filed the claim and investigations made by the insurance company not only revealed that the claim was a fraud, but that Ms. Walker was not Princess Antoinette.
Ms. Walker plead insanity for her extortion charges and only served one year in a mental institution.
- 3. Honestly… Who Steals an Eight-ton Cotton Picker?
Apparently, the very farmer who owns it! Sort of.
After overspending on a very expensive cotton picker—it’s hard to imagine impulse-buying an eight-on piece of farming equipment—a Georgian farmer decided to file a claim that the machine had been stolen, so to collect on the $100,000 insurance policy and still keep his cotton picker.
But… how exactly do you hide an eight-ton cotton picker?
Investigators asked themselves this very question and were able to eventually determine that the farmer had actually gone through the trouble of burying it on his property. That’s right, he buried a whole eight-ton cotton picker! When the investigators called for its excavation, it took a solid 12 hours to do so.
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