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Wed, Jan 21, 2009

Marcus Schrenker... Who Was He Again?

Feds Charge Pilot With Making False Mayday Call, Crashing Plane

With the aviation world seemingly dominated by the news of A320s landing in New York rivers, the odd case of Marcus Schrenker seems like it happened a lifetime ago... but it's only been 10 days since the 38-year-old embattled businessman parachuted from his aircraft over Alabama, in an apparent (and, ultimately, rather futile) attempt to fake his own death.

While the public eye may have wandered from the embattled Indiana investment banker's saga, however, federal authorities have kept him front-and-center. On Tuesday, Schrenker was indicted by a federal grand jury for intentionally crashing his Piper PA-46 Meridian in Florida, and for making a fake distress call.

The Associated Press reports Schrenker is due to be arraigned on Thursday; until then, he's still in jail.

As ANN reported, Schrenker sent the distress call to controllers January 11, claiming he had been severely injured from a broken windscreen. The plane was left to run out of fuel, eventually crashing near Destin, FL. Schrenker later approached police in Childersburg, AL and claimed he'd been in a canoe accident.

With little apparent reason to doubt the man at his word, officers gave Schrenker a ride to a motel in nearby Harpersburg. By the time news surfaced of the Florida plane crash -- and that Schrenker was facing an Indiana state investigation of three of his financial firms, the recent filing for divorce by his wife, and a half-million-dollar penalty owed to an insurance firm for allegedly collecting commissions to which he wasn't entitled -- he was long gone, riding a motorcycle he'd stashed in a nearby storage unit.

It was a plot worthy of a Bond film... but Schrenker's own hubris appears to have gotten the better of him. By January 13, officials were able to track Schrenker to a Florida campground thanks to an email he sent to a neighbor the night before.

When police in Quincy, FL found Schrenker, he was bloodied from an apparent suicide attempt.

FMI: www.usmarshals.gov/, www.iconwm.com

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