Man Blinded Four Times in Same Eye Sees Way to Plead Guilty to Insurance Fraud

February 4, 2005

A man who claimed he had been blinded in the right eye in four different accidents pleaded guilty in New York to attempted insurance fraud.

The plea by Brian Calen, 48, stemmed from a 2002 claim that he had been blinded by a flying toy disc during a Mississippi riverboat cruise. The $500,000 payout, delayed by the case, was never paid.

Calen was prosecuted only for the 2002 claim, but prosecutors said he collected $75,000 in 1992 and $1 million in 1997 on other claims of being blinded in that eye.

Calen is legally blind in his right eye, but prosecutors say this likely happened during a shipboard accident in 1985. They said he took out insurance policies that covered losses during travel but which did not require medical exams.

Calen also pleaded guilty to attempted grand larceny. He will spend up to four weekends in jail and must pay the insurance company $2,500 for its costs, his lawyer said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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