Boater who faked disappearance owes $1 million for Coast Guard’s search

Richard Ohrn

Richard Ohrn

In March 2015, the boat Richard Ohrn had rented was found off the coast of Boca Raton with patches of blood and a pair of broken eyeglasses.

Ohrn himself was nowhere to be found.

However, the one-time stockbroker turned up two weeks later – he had faked his disappearance to escape legal issues, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

And now, he’s paying dearly.

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According to a plea agreement from the U.S. District Court, Ohrn, who plead guilty to communicating false distress to the United States Coast Guard, must pay $1 million to make up the cost of the Coast Guard’s search, which stretched over four days.

He must also sell his home on Estuary Drive, west of Boca Raton, which will be applied toward the restitution. The home has been valued at $550,000.

Ohrn could still face up to six years in prison and an additional fine of $250,000, but a sentencing guideline in the plea agreement suggests probation is more appropriate.

The one-time financial adviser had faced an investigation from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority at the time of his disappearance, and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation denied his request for a broker license in December 2014. FINRA accused Ohrn of forging customer signatures when he worked for Chase Investment Services Corporation.

According to the PBSO at the time, Ohrn anchored the rented boat off Boca Raton, then used a small inflatable boat to return to land. He drove to Albany, Ga., staying in a rental house.

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