A lawyer from the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, had bought a box of 24 rare and expensive cigars. He then assured them against the fire. In the following month, having consumed his cigars, the lawyer sent a statement to his insurance company stating that the cigars had been lost “in a series of small fires”.
The insurance company refused to pay, claiming that the man had eaten the cigars in the normal way.
The lawyer sued … and won! The judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was of a very frivolous nature, but indicated that the lawyer held a company policy that guaranteed that the cigars were insured against the fire without defining which constituted an “acceptable” fire. The judge therefore declared the company liable to indemnify the lawyer.
Instead of having to endure long and costly appeals, the insurance company accepted the judgment and paid the lawyer $ 15,000 for the loss of his precious cigars due to the unfortunate “fires”.
Once the lawyer had cashed the check, the insurance company sued him for 24 counts.
Using the lawyer’s own statement of assurance and his testimony at the first trial, the lawyer was charged with intentionally setting fire to an insured property to collect the insurance amount. He was sentenced to 24 months in prison and fined $ 24,000.
This is a true story, in the United States and nowhere else.