Man arrested after faking his own death in plane crash

AN INVESTMENT investment manager facing a fraud investigation in the US has been arrested after apparently attempting to fake his own death in a plane crash.

Marcus Schrenker, 38, was detained by US marshals yesterday, two days after his aircraft hit ground in a swampy area in north-west Florida.

It is believed that the amateur daredevil pilot had earlier parachuted to safety in Alabama and fled on a motorcycle as his auto-piloted plane was allowed to crash.

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Federal agents found Schrenker at a campsite yesterday evening. He was bleeding from what is believed to be a self-inflicted gash to the wrist.

Frank Chiumento, assistant chief of the US Marshals in Florida, said officers attended to the injury before airlifting the suspect to hospital.

Mr Chiumento told US broadcaster ABC: "He was bleeding profusely from the wounds to the left arm.

"Just as we were administering first aid to him we were giving him assurances that he would be OK and he seemed to mutter some words that he was resistant to that. He muttered 'die' at one time as if he didn't want the first aid that we were rendering to him."

The saga began on Sunday evening when Schrenker took off in his single-engine Piper Malibu to Florida from his Indiana home.

While over central Alabama, he sent a message saying that his windshield had imploded, before his radio went dead.

Military jets were sent out after the mayday call, and found the aircraft's door open. The plane crashed 200 miles later.

Police believe that Schrenker parachuted to the ground shortly after the distress call where he picked up a motorcycle he had stashed.

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It has since emerged that the 38-year-old investment manager was facing a probe into allegations that he was ripping off clients.

It is alleged that he sold clients annuities and then charged them exorbitant fees that they were not aware they were liable for.

On December 31, officers entered Schrenker's home and seized passports and cash in relation to the investigation. They also took away six computers and financial documents.

Court records also show that his wife recently filed for divorce.

His neighbour, Tom Britt has told reporters that he received an email believed to be from Schrenker shortly before going missing.

It read: "I embarrassed my family for the last time. By the time you read this I'll be gone."

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