Thu, Jun 14, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Ex-national athlete found guilty of faking blindness

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

The Kaohsiung Branch of the Taiwan High Court yesterday found former star athlete Chen Yu-hsien (陳宥憲) guilty of faking an eye injury to claim an insurance payout of NT$1.05 million (US$35,129 at the current exchange rate).

The court ordered Chen, 29, to pay back the money to MS & AD Insurance Group. The ruling was final.

Chen, who used to play for the national handball team, was involved in a 2009 collision between a car and a motorcycle in Changhua.

He said he sustained serious eye injuries that caused his visual acuity to deteriorate to a value of less than 0.01, placing him in a state of serious visual impairment, which some optometrists regard as having cortical blindness.

Chen went to Changhua Christian Hospital, where an optometrist diagnosed him with a visual acuity of less than 0.01 in both eyes.

Chen then claimed that he became legally blind in both eyes as a result of the accident, and received the insurance payout.

However, people later became suspicious when Chen started working as a tennis instructor.

He was seen playing Frisbee and performing other tasks, such as dancing, that required hand-eye coordination.

Chen was also found to be capable of walking unaided, insurance evaluators who filed for litigation said.

Investigators found that Chen’s vision had improved within a few months of the accident, but he continued to fake blindness.

Prosecutors said that Chen used a cane, even though he did not need one, and pretended to require assistance from other people when going to have his eyes checked.

He was initially able to fool the optometrists, but from 2010 to 2016, when Chen went to other hospitals for checkups, eye specialists gradually acquired more advanced instruments that were able to examine his inner eyeball structure and nerve endings, and determined that he was not visually impaired, investigators said.

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