INDIANAPOLIS -- The daughter of Marcus Schrenker, the man who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars and faked his death in 2009, said the experience helped guide her in the right direction.
Alyssa Schrenker was 11 years old when her father, a former financial advisor, faked his death by staging a plane crash to cover up money troubles. In 2010, the Merrillville native’s home, vehicles, and plane were seized. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for fraud.
"I define who I am. They don't define me. No matter what parents or what happens, I get to choose,” she said. “I lost my family. I lost a lot of people in my life. That's the hardest thing to deal with."
She has decided to learn to weld and leans on a GoFundMe page to help pay her college tuition and bills.
"My whole life flip-flopped. It was hard but I appreciated it because I learned to make sacrifices and know what hard work is, to earn everything you have,” Alyssa said.
Schrenker acknowledges making serious mistakes after leaving her mother’s home.
In April 2015 and in August 2015, she was arrested for shoplifting and faced a theft for each incident. Both misdemeanors. In the April 2015 case, she was offered a plea agreement by the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s office in which she agreed to a guilty plea and was placed on 1-year probation. She served one day in custody.
The second case was resolved on July 7, 2016 with Schrenker admitting to her guilt. She was found to be in violation of her probation and spent several days in the county jail. The court dropped all fines and costs related to her case, because she was couldn’t afford to pay them.
In response to her arrests, Alyssa says “I’m human. I made mistakes. I’m accountable and I’ve learned from it. Judge me, but that’s my past. I’ve grown from this and moved on.”
In the future she hopes to enter the medical field.
“I want to go into a career where I can help people who are at their lowest point, their darkest moment in life,” she said. “I'm living proof you can get through awful things. Keep going and don't give up."
Alyssa said she does not speak with her parents.
Her father has paid about $1,000 of the $600,000 he was ordered by a judge. If he doesn’t pay in full by January 2018, he will need to appear in court to explain.
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