Sometime in 1985, Brian Calen claimed he had been blinded in his right eye by an accident on a cruise ship. Based on his insurance records, he was also blinded in shipboard accidents three times after that, prosecutors said Wednesday.
It was the same eye each time. In 1992, Calen blamed a telescope; in 1997, a champagne bottle; in 2002, a flying disc.
"How does a guy get blinded again and again?" asked Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro.
Calen's unlucky streak was good for more than $1 million in traveler's insurance money, but the 48-year-old day trader from Dobbs Ferry was indicted Wednesday on charges of insurance fraud and grand larceny.
He was accused of "attempting to collect insurance money by claiming that he was injured and lost sight in his right eye when he was already legally blind in that eye," Pirro said. "He tried on three separate occasions to collect money and in fact did collect money on two occasions," she added.
Calen pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Wednesday in Westchester County Court and was freed on $10,000 bail.