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Sun, Feb 08, 2009

Schrenker Ordered To Pay $12 Million In Plane Sale Lawsuit

Suit Alleges "Hard Landing"-Damaged Plane Not Repaired, Then Sold As 'NDH'

The Indiana financial advisor accused of crashing his plane last month in a bungled attempt to fake his own death was hit with a $12 million judgment last week in a Houston County, Alabama Circuit Court on charges of fraud in the 2002 sale of a damaged aircraft.

The Dothan (AL) Eagle reports Marcus Schrenker, 38, was ordered by Circuit Judge Lawson Little to pay local resident Barnett Hudson $3 million in compensatory damages and $9 million in punitive damages, awarded for the sale of a plane damaged in a "hard landing" but sold to Hudson as having no damage history.

The suit claims Schrenker received nearly $100,000 in insurance monies paid on a damage claim from the landing, but pocketed the cash instead of repairing the plane. Then he sold it to Hudson as having no damage history.

Judge Little showed disdain for Schrenker's disregard for safety in selling a damaged aircraft, and other more recent actions.

The judge's written ruling states, "Mr. Schrenker had a duty to fully disclose to Mr. Hudson the true damaged condition of the aircraft, particularly in that Mr. Hudson's lack of knowledge about the aircraft could have literally resulted in his death or serious injury.

"The court takes judicial notice of the fact that Mr. Schrenker recently attempted to fake his own death and deliberately crashed his airplane in the panhandle of Florida; again, putting at risk innocent persons and businesses on the ground," Little added.

Schrenker failed to present himself at a hearing on the matter last week, instead sending a letter saying he would not attend the deposition, he has no money, and is headed toward bankruptcy.

"It needs to be known that I am personally financially insolvent," Schrenker's letter said. "I am intending on filing bankruptcy in 2009 should my financial conditions continue to deteriorate."

As ANN reported, Schrenker apparently botched a pre-planned attempt to fake his own death and escape financial woes January 12, when he bailed out of his Piper PA-46-500TP Meridian before it crashed near the Gulf of Mexico.

Schrenker has federal charges pending against him in that case for intentionally wrecking the plane and making a false distress call.




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