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Recovery from Schrenker likely to be only 7 percent

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Investors who lost millions in the financial schemes of an Indiana money manager who tried to fake his own death in a plane crash will likely get back only pennies on the dollar under a plan submitted by his court-appointed receiver.

Even after selling off a house, cars, stunt plane and other relics of Marcus Schrenker's once high-flying lifestyle, there isn't enough money to repay investors more than a fraction of their losses, according to a report filed by the receiver appointed to inventory his assets.

The Oct. 12 report says the receiver came up with only $556,000 in cash after seizing Schrenker's bank accounts and auctioning his property. Schrenker owes $3.9 million to investors whose money he misappropriated and another $9 million to creditors.

"Unfortunately, that's what's there," said Kenneth J. Munson, one of the attorneys who signed off on the report filed in Hamilton Circuit Court.

Schrenker had claimed to have more than $1 million in offshore bank accounts in a letter to his estranged wife, Michelle, but accountants were unable to substantiate those claims, the report says, and the cost of tracing that money — if it exists — would outweigh any benefit.

Under a plan included in the report, administrators and state and federal taxes would be paid first. That would leave only about $276,000 for investors, who would likely regain about 7 cents on each dollar lost, it said.

The repayment plan must be approved by a judge. A hearing is set for Dec. 3.

Part of the problem, said Hamilton County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeff Wehmueller, is that Schrenker's lifestyle was built largely on borrowed money, and he owed money on most of his assets.

"It's not hard to live the life of a millionaire if you borrow a million bucks," Wehmueller said.

Schrenker, 39, of Fishers, was sentenced earlier this month to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to securities fraud charges. He already faced four years in federal prison on charges stemming from the January 2009 plane crash. As part of the plea deal, he agreed to pay more than $600,000 in restitution. Part of that would likely be paid under the receiver's plan, Wehmueller said.

Schrenker, an amateur daredevil pilot, used money he stole from investors to buy planes, luxury cars and a 10,000-square-foot home in an upscale suburban Indianapolis neighborhood on Geist Reservoir nicknamed "Cocktail Cove," where affluent boaters often socialized, prosecutors say.

They say Schrenker bilked nine clients, including a friend of 10 years and his own aunt, out of about $1.5 million. The clients thought they were investing in a foreign currency fund that didn't exist.

The scheme began to unravel when the economy declined and some investors wanted to move their money into safer investments. Schrenker turned to daily trades in risky investments in the hope of generating enough money to cover up his scheme, but couldn't keep up with the losses, Wehmueller said.

Facing mounting legal problems, Schrenker put his small plane on autopilot in January 2009 and jumped out with a parachute. He said he pointed the plane toward the Gulf of Mexico, but the plane ran out of fuel and crashed in the Florida Panhandle.

Schrenker parachuted into Alabama and was found two days later at a Florida campground, bleeding where he had cut his own wrist.

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  • Whatever
    Whenever you deal with a sociopath (person with no known conscience) the only ones that come out ahead are the attorneys. They delight in defending a guy who would take money from a family member to live the high life. What a way to make a living, huh??? Now who doesn't have a conscience???
  • Is that amount net?
    How much will go to attorney fees?

    Just wondering...

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  1. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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