The Indiana Court of Appeals on Tuesday affirmed a lower court’s decision to appoint a receiver to manage the assets
of Michelle Schrenker, the former wife of convicted Fishers money manager Marcus Schrenker.
Marcus Schrenker grabbed headlines last year by crashing his plane and parachuting to safety in an elaborate scheme to fake his death and escape a securities fraud investigation. He was sentenced in August in a Florida court to more than four years in federal prison for crashing the plane and is awaiting trial in Hamilton County on the fraud charges.
Altogether, Schrenker is charged with 11 felony counts of securities fraud. He misappropriated about $1.5 million in investors' money, investigators say.
Hamilton Superior Court Judge J. Richard Campbell appointed a receiver last February at the urging of the Indiana Securities Division, which filed a civil suit against the Schrenkers in an attempt to recover client funds.
The civil suit alleges the Schrenkers violated the Indiana Securities Act by using investor funds for personal use. The securities division lobbied the Hamilton County court to appoint a receiver because of Michelle Schrenker's involvement in the couple’s three investment firms: Heritage Wealth Management, Heritage Insurance Services and Icon Wealth Management.
She agreed to a preliminary injunction preventing her from transferring any assets until an accounting of her finances could be completed, but she objected to a receiver taking control of her property, the appellate court decision said.
As chief financial officer, Michelle Schrenker was paid a monthly salary of $11,600 and “did not consider her position as CFO to be simply a title,” the state asserted.
The appellate court agreed.
“The appointment of a receiver was premised on the trial court’s conclusions Michelle ‘materially aided’ Marcus and his corporations in violating the Securities Act by ‘allowing and personally converting investor funds to be used for the personal use of her and Marcus, and she was ‘jointly and severally liable with and to the same extent as’ Marcus and his companies by virtue of her position as chief financial officer of three companies,” Court of Appeals Judge Melissa May wrote.
Division spokesman Jim Gavin said the appellate court’s decision to keep the receiver in place affirms the confidence the Indiana Secretary of State’s office had in bringing its case against the Schrenkers.
“That was the goal in requesting this receiver, to basically prevent the defendants from transferring any money, anything that pertains to the operation of the businesses,” Gavin said.
Mary F. Schmid, an attorney at Stewart & Irwin PC representing Michelle Schrenker, did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.
Any decision to file criminal charges against Michelle Schrenker rests with the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s office.