Curious Case Of The High-Flying Financier

Marcus Schrenker was charged Wednesday with faking a distress call and wrecking his plane on purpose, but that's not the whole story, CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian reports. His is a sad tale of mis-handled fortunes and a life spinning out of control.


A team of U.S. Marshalls and local law enforcement found 38-year-old Marcus Schrenker huddled inside a tent at a North Florida campground bleeding from his wrist, after a supposed suicide attempt, CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian reports.

This is just the latest twist in the story of a man who faked his own death in a stunt straight out of a bad movie.

"There was a lot of blood," said Lt. Jim Corder of the Gadsden, Fla., sheriff's office. "It was apparent that Mr. Schrenker had been bleeding for a long time there in his tent before law enforcement arrived."

On Sunday, Schrenker - a daredevil pilot whose exploits are chronicled on YouTube - flew in a private plane from Indiana to Florida. Over Alabama he radioed a phony distress call, before parachuting from this plane that would later crash in a North Florida swamp.

Schrenker later emerged from the woods 200 miles away soaking wet, telling local police he'd been in a canoeing accident.

After checking into a Florida hotel, Schrenker slipped away, reappearing at a storage shed before roaring off in a motorcycle he'd stashed days before as part of his great escape.

"The best way to describe it right now, he's our own little Bernie Madoff," said Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita.

Schrenker had plenty of reasons to run. He's currently under investigation in Indiana, Georgia and Alabama for insurance fraud, accused of excessively trading client's investments in order to fatten his fees by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

By the time authorities arrived at Schrenker's $4 million home, he'd long disappeared, leaving behind a trail of broken trust and distraught clients.

"You haven't been bilked until you've been scammed by Marcus Schrenker." Said Bob Sellers, a victim of Schrenker alleged scheme.

Schrenker is now under arrest in a Florida hospital, where he is recovering from self-inflicted wounds.

The real pain is now felt by those who trusted their money to what one former client called, "A pathological liar."

So in the world of Bernie Madoff, we can now add the name Marcus Schrenker. At a time when, it seems, financial fraudsters are literally falling from the sky.
  • Armen Keteyian

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