Although Marcus Schrenker wanted to build a thriving career as a money manager, greed soon got the better of him, and he decided to con his clients for massive commissions. In fact, his con was quite successful initially, earning him millions, but soon the police were hot on his tail. ‘Dateline: Flying High in Cocktail Cove’ chronicles the shocking incident and even portrays how Marcus faked his own death to escape persecution. Let’s delve into the details surrounding the con and find out where Marcus Schrenker is at present, shall we?
Who Is Marcus Schrenker?
A native of Merrillville, Indiana, Marcus Schrenker is a former Wall Street money manager and financial advisor who graduated from Purdue University before starting his financial planning firm, Heritage Wealth Management Inc. Although Marcus owned two other businesses, namely Icon Wealth Management and Heritage Insurance Services, Heritage Wealth Management was his flagship company which would go on to handle most of his frauds. Nevertheless, in the beginning, the company was presented as a successful firm that promised high-yielding returns on low-risk investments.
In fact, most of the investments Marcus took on did quite well, and as his business passed one milestone after the other, he even managed to build up a healthy reputation in the field. With his reputation at an all-time high, Marcus began raking in profits, and he soon settled in the upper-class Geist neighborhood near Indianapolis. Moreover, he tied the knot with Michelle Schrenker, whom he met while at Purdue University, and the two went on to have three children.
Moreover, around this time, Marcus discovered his passion for aviation, and he even had the means to pursue the hobby extensively with top-quality flying lessons and a few single-engine planes. Interestingly, his love for flying soon helped his business as a few acquaintances he made in the aviation industry were impressed by his promise and looked forward to investing with him. However, that was when Marcus hit upon a scam that would make him massive commissions regularly. When talking with his clients, the money manager claimed he only made money when he did since his commission was 1%.
Yet, when it came to the actual investment, he put all the money into annuities, which earned him a good commission from insurance companies. However, annuities demand massive surrender fees if one wants to take their money out, and Marcus’ clients lost thousands of dollars trying to recover from the con. After roping in a few victims in Indianapolis, Marcus moved to Atlanta, Georgia, since he believed that Delta Airlines filing for bankruptcy would leave pilots looking for ways to invest their payouts.
It proved to be massively successful for Marcus’ scam since he managed to earn about a million dollars, all while leaving his clients in financial ruin. However, the con was already catching up to him as several of his victims approached authorities with proper evidence of the operation. Hence, after a bit of investigation, law enforcement officials decided to bring criminal charges against Marcus for securities fraud. Moreover, once Marcus’ wife filed for divorce in December 2008, the money manager finally realized that his successful empire was on the decline.
Where Is Marcus Schrenker Now?
However, Marcus was unwilling to go down so easily, and on January 11, 2009, he took off on a single-engine airplane from an airstrip in Anderson, Indiana. Shortly after taking off, the money manager called air traffic control and claimed he was injured and losing a lot of blood since his windshield had imploded. Then, in a crafty move, Marcus turned on autopilot and parachuted out as the plane crashed into a field near Milton, Florida. Investigators initially believed that Marcus was in the plane at the time of the crash and had died on impact. However, a careful search of the crash site showed no sign of blood, and the police soon realized that the Merrillville native was trying to escape persecution.
Although Marcus’ escape attempt was successful, he made a mistake when he emailed his neighbor, Tom Britt, to explain the plane crash. Tom immediately turned the email over to the police, and on January 13, 2009, the Merrillville native was apprehended from Tallahassee, Florida. When presented in court, Marcus initially pleaded guilty to the illegal destruction of an aircraft and the feral charge of deceiving the Coast Guard, for which he was sentenced to four years and three months in prison and asked to pay a restitution fine of $34,000 in 2009.
Moreover, in 2010, Marcus also pleaded guilty to five counts of securities fraud and was sentenced to ten years in prison, while the judge asked him to pay around $630,000 to his victims. Incidentally, Marcus served only five years behind bars as prison records claim he was released on parole in 2015, and his sentence was terminated in 2019. Moreover, from the looks of it, Marcus Schrenker had currently built up a quiet life for himself in Pensacola, Florida.