Financial Advisor Marcus Schrenker – Marcus Schrenker had initially aimed to build a successful career as a financial manager. Unfortunately, his ambition quickly transformed into greed, leading him down an illegal path of deceiving clients for personal gain. His fraudulent activities caught the attention of law enforcement once he achieved success.
The TV show “Dateline,” Season 17, Episode 24, titled “Flying High in Cocktail Cove,” depicts these events. This episode provides insight into Marcus Schrenker’s fraudulent scheme and an intriguing twist involving him staging his own death to evade legal consequences. Perhaps we should thoroughly examine this elaborate scheme and its extent, possibly by tracking down Marcus himself to learn more about what occurred during that time.
How did Marcus Schrenker Fake His Death?
Marcus Schrenker, a Purdue University graduate from Merrillville, Indiana, established Heritage Wealth Management Inc in 2010. Heritage Wealth Management was his main company before working on Wall Street as a money manager. It oversaw most of his fraudulent activities while also controlling Icon Wealth Management and Heritage Insurance Services. When he created this corporation, it promised significant returns with relatively manageable investment risks.
Remarkably, Schrenker’s investments yielded exceptional results, enhancing his reputation with each milestone and solidifying his position within the industry. Following these accomplishments, he retired and settled down in Geist, Indianapolis. His Purdue University sweetheart, Michelle Schrenker, is still his wife today, and they now have three children together.
During this period, Marcus developed a keen interest in aviation. He gained access to top-tier flight instruction and owned single-engine planes for his fleet. Through networking in aviation circles, he made connections in this sector. Some connections sought investments due to Marcus’ potential. However, Schrenker devised a scheme to generate significant commissions tied to client profits consistently. He told clients that his earnings depended on 1% commission structures to prove his authority.
Schrenker was earning substantial fees from insurance companies but misused his money by allocating it to annuities. This caused clients to incur significant surrender fees and struggle to recover their investments from these annuities, resulting in substantial financial losses. After initially attracting clients in Indianapolis and Georgia, particularly pilots affected by Delta Airlines’ bankruptcy seeking investment opportunities, Schrenker moved his operations to Atlanta, where pilots might look for investment opportunities to escape bankruptcy.
Schrenker’s fraudulent activities proved highly profitable, amassing an estimated total of around $1 Million through the financial instability caused by his victims. However, his scheme eventually unraveled as several victims reported evidence of deception to authorities. Law enforcement charged Schrenker with securities fraud. The situation became more complicated when his wife initiated divorce proceedings in December 2008, signaling the collapse of his enterprise and further disruptions.
Where is Marcus Schrenker of Cocktail Cove Dateline Now?
On January 11, 2009, Marcus did not give up easily. He took off in a single-engine aircraft from an airport near Anderson, Indiana, headed for Florida. Shortly after takeoff, he reported severe injuries and significant blood loss caused by the shattering of his windscreen. The plane crashed in Milton, Florida. However, Marcus used autopilot activation and parachutes to escape before the final impact. Initial investigations assumed Marcus had perished on impact, but subsequent searches failed to reveal any blood at the crash site, suggesting his evasive actions.
Marcus managed to escape from the aircraft but accidentally sent an incriminating email about the incident to Tom Britt, his neighbor, and subsequent law enforcement contact. Tom promptly forwarded Marcus’s email to law enforcement authorities, leading to his arrest on January 13, 2009, in Tallahassee, Florida, on charges of unlawfully destroying an airplane and misleading the Coast Guard. As part of a plea bargain, he received a sentence of four years and three months in prison, along with restitution payments of $34,000.
Marcus faced further legal consequences when he admitted guilt on five counts of securities fraud in 2010. This resulted in an initial prison sentence of ten years and the obligation to make restitution payments of nearly $630,000 to victims. Although Marcus was granted parole in 2015, ultimately serving five years before having his conviction overturned in 2019.
Recently, Marcus Schrenker has found peace and stability in Pensacola, Florida, indicating a significant change from his past actions.