Floating alone, anchored and abandoned a passing yacht stopped to investigate. The SeaRay 185 Sport vessel was empty except for trails of blood and some broken eyeglasses. The yacht owners called the local authorities fearing for the missing boater. That call began a 3-day exhaustive search by the U.S. Coast Guard which yielded nothing except debt.
Richard Winsor Ohrn, a 46 year old Navy veteran, was working as a bank advisor in Boca Raton when he faked his own death. On March 31st, 2015 he rented a SeaRay 185 Sport Vessel and staged a crime scene planting blood and broken glasses. He then abandoned the boat and used an inflatable dinghy to escape the scene.
Ohrn was under suspicion of fraud, according to the Sun Sentinel, for illegally withdrawing $15,000 from two elderly clients when he faked his death which caused a man-hunt by the U.S. Coast Guard. Mr. Ohrn agreed to a plea agreement in which he will pay restitution for the ‘false distress message’ to the tune of $1 million dollars. He has been court ordered to sell his house to cover the debt. The maximum penalty for Ohrn’s offense is six years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The U.S. Coast Guard searched for Ohrn for three days. After Ohrn faked his death he travelled to Georgia and used his nephew’s name to rent an apartment. Some time later, he called his local sheriff’s office and informed them that he was safe at home in Florida. The Sheriff’s office asked him to come in and speak with them about the incident. Ohrn told them he needed to ‘just go away’ due to his mental break.
Ohrn was charged in February and quickly released on $1 million bond. Mr. Ohrn is set to be sentenced in October of this year. He must repay $1 million in restitution, sell his home and list all assets under the terms of his plea agreement.