Wishing He Were Dead

Man pleads guilty to trying to fake own death in plane crash

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- An Indiana money manager admitted in federal court today he planned an elaborate scheme to fake his own death in order to escape his financial troubles.

Marcus Schrenker, 38, intentionally crashed an airplane near a Florida Panhandle neighborhood in January.    Prosecutors say he made a fake distress call over Alabama, engaged the autopilot and parachuted out, hoping the plane would crash in the Gulf of Mexico and make it appear he had died.  He retrieved a stashed motorcycle and sped toward Florida.

But the plane ran out of fuel and crashed short of the Gulf. When no body was found, the search for Schrenker began. U.S. marshals caught him days later at a Panhandle campground.

Instead of escaping his troubles, Schrenker created a world of hurt for himself.  He faces up to 26 years in prison, half a million in fines, and he has to reimburse the military for expenses related to the plane crash, the NWI Times reported.

And Schrenker still faces Indiana charges related to his financial dealings.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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