A former Indiana money manager who tried to fake his own death by jumping out of a small plane before it crashed in Florida
appeared in court via video yesterday to face charges that he bilked a family member, friends and other clients out of $1.5
Marcus Schrenker, who is accused of using his clients’ money to finance a lifestyle that included an expensive
home, planes and luxury cars, was assigned a public defender by Hamilton County Magistrate David Najjar after telling Najjar
his assets were frozen.
"I have no idea of the condition of my assets at this time," Schrenker said via
video linkup from county jail.
The judge entered not guilty pleas on Schrenker’s behalf to the 11 felony counts
he faces. He ordered Schrenker held on $4 million cash bond pending a Nov. 9 trial date.
The attorney assigned to Schrenker,
Dan Henke, did not respond to a phone message seeking comment.
Schrenker is charged with nine counts of securities
fraud and one count each of committing unlawful acts by a compensated adviser and an unlawful transaction by an investment
adviser representative. If convicted, he faces up to eight years in prison on each count.
According to prosecutors,
Schrenker bilked nine clients, including his own aunt, out of a total of about $1.5 million they thought they were investing
in a foreign currency fund but that really didn’t exist. Prosecutors say Schrenker used the money to pay personal expenses.
Jeffrey D. Wehmueller, administrative chief deputy for the Hamilton County prosecutor’s office, vowed to try to recover
as much of the money as possible for Schrenker’s victims.
"We are going to try to do everything we can to
try to make them whole, certainly. The one thing that we will see to is that he’s held accountable for his actions,"
he said after the hearing.
Schrenker was sentenced in Florida last month to four years in federal prison after
he admitted putting his small plane on autopilot on Jan. 11 and jumping out with a parachute to try to fake his own death.
Schrenker said he pointed the plane toward the Gulf of Mexico, but the plane ran out of fuel and crashed in Florida.
parachuted into Alabama and was found two days later at a Florida campground, bleeding of a self-inflicted wrist slash.
His wife had filed for divorce Dec. 30, a day before Indiana police served a search warrant on his home and office,
seizing computers and financial documents within days of his losing a $533,000 judgment to an insurance company.
As soon as Schrenker’s Indiana case is concluded, he will be returned to the federal Bureau of Prisons for imprisonment.