Heritage Wealth Management Pilot Fakes Own Death to Avoid $1.4 Million Lawsuit

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The story of Heritage Wealth Management President Marcus Schrenker is something straight out of a mid-grade Hollywood action flick.

Yesterday evening, Schrenker, who was flying a Piper PA 36 from Indianapolis to Florida, put in a distress call to Air Traffic Control that his windshield had imploded and he was about to crash. He crashed somewhere in the Florida Panhandle, but he wasn’t inside his plane when it went down.

Local authorities say that Schrenker put the plane into autopilot, then jumped out with a parachute before it crashed. Schrenker then allegedly checked into a Harpersville, Alabama hotel under a fake name.

Business is getting more tabloid-like every day.

InfoWeek’s Paul McDougall uncovered a possible motive for Schrenker’s great escape.

This guy is facing a lawsuit that claims he owes more than $1.4 million.

In court papers filed in December in federal court in Indianapolis, collection agent Creative Marketing International claims that Marcus Schrenker, acting as an insurance broker, failed to remit commission reimbursements of $1.4 million to National Western Life.

National Western contracted to CMI to collect the money on its behalf, according to court records.

Schrenker was an insurance agent for National Western from 2003 to 2006, according to court records. During that time, he collected more than $1.4 million in advance commissions on policies that ultimately went unsold or that lapsed in some way.

CMI claims Schrenker was legally obligated to repay the commissions to National Western, but never did. CMI is now suing Schrenker for breach of contract and unjust enrichment. Oh, and it wants the money back.

Schrenker’s escape skills seem to be as dubious as his business methods. If he really wanted to get away, why didn’t he just board a plane to Mexico?