Schrenker: Bi-Polar Disorder Made Me Fake My Death

"I'm No Bernie Madoff"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    atgeist.com
    Marcus Schrenker says his bi-polar disorder is what's behind his Jekyll-and-Hyde persona.

    The Indiana man accused of filching more than $1 million from clients of his financial services business -- then trying to fake his own death by parachuting out of a plane and letting it crash -- spoke out for the first time about the charges against him.

    "I'm no Bernie Madoff," Marcus Schrenker told the Northwest Indiana Times.

    The NWI Times' exclusive interview with Shrenker reads like a script for Law & Order, and the charges leveled against him paint of a picture of a seemingly wealthy businessman who squandered millions while secretly funneling his investors' cash into his own accounts. Then, when things got hairy, he tried (and failed) to fake his own death.

    Schrenker seemed to lay some of the blame for what happened on his bi-polar disorder, which he claims was diagnosed while he was in college.

    But a psychology professor who talked with the Times about Schrenker's claims seemed doubtful that a manic bi-polar state could last long enough for someone to plan a flight, and stash a motorcycle where he could find it after parachuting from the plane, as Schrenker was convicted of doing. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison for making the fake distress call and intentionally ditching his aircraft.

    Now, Schrenker is back in Indiana to face 11 felony counts from the alleged fraud scheme. He'll go to trial in March 2010.

    When the Times asked Schrenker about the Jekyll-and-Hyde comparisons made about him in the wake of the scandal, he wasn't surprised.

    "I can see that," Schrenker, told The Times. "There is some truth to that."

    What remains to be seen is whether the court will buy Schrenker's bi-polar disorder as a viable defense to the million-dollar fraud he's accused of perpetrating.