Man Gets 2 Years For Faking His Own Death
Thursday, November 4th, 2010
A Michigan businessman who faked his death in Lake Superior to escape financial pressures was sentenced to two years in prison Wednesday.
Officials say, in May 2008 Mike Gokey of Marquette, Michigan launched a kayak into Lake Superior with a life jacket and a paddle. He then sent a distress call to the Coast Guard. The U.S. Coast Guard launched an extensive and expensive search for him, including coast guard boats and helicopters. Just hours later Gokey was found, alive, in Iowa.
When authorities found him in Iowa they charge him with false distress, which he plead guilty to in August.
During his trial prosecutors revealed changes Gokey had made to his life insurance policies, increasing two of them from $100,000 to $300,000. The Federal Court found him guilty of intent to defraud insurance companies and sentenced him to two years in Federal Prison, with three years of supervised release following the prison term.
A fine of $250,000 has been waived however, Gokey has been ordered to pay $57,000 in restitution to the government for their 2008 search efforts. Upon his supervised release Gokey must have a job and cannot obtain credit without the probation officers permission, who will also have full access to Gokey’s financial records. Forty percent of his net income in those three years will be taken until the government is paid back its $57,000.