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Schrenker trial delayed until March 2010

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Marcus Schrenker

Chris Proffitt/Eyewitness News

Hamilton County - Attorneys for former Geist money manager Marcus Schrenker told a judge they need more time to prepare for trial.

Saying that they need more time to prepare their case, Marcus Schrenker's defense team asked for and got a delay in his trial originally scheduled for next month.

"It's unlikely, from a practical standpoint, that we'd be ready for that trial on that day," said Chadwick Hill, attorney for Marcus Schrenker.

Schrenker was sentenced in Florida to more than four years in federal prison for intentionally crashing his plane in a bid to fake his death following mounting personal and business problems. The 38-year-old returned to Hamilton County where he remains in jail pending trial on 11 counts of securities fraud and working as an investment advisor without a license. If convicted, Schrenker could be sentenced to a maximum of 88 years in prison.

Investors from Georgia to Indiana, all former Schrenker clients, say the former money manager raided their accounts. In Indiana alone, prosecutors maintain that Schrenker diverted over a million dollars of investor funds for his personal use.

"Instead of investing for their benefit, he deposited these funds in his business account and spent it on business and personal expenses," said Jeff Wehmueller, Hamilton County chief deputy prosecutor.

Schrenker's attorney says his client insists he's innocent of the charges and believes, despite intense media coverage, he can find an impartial jury. Hill said he is not considering a change of venue.

"He wants the legal process to show itself and to allow Mr. Schrenker to tell his side of the story which I think will be a surprise to a lot of people," said Hill.

Jailed since he crashed his plane in Florida, capturing worldwide headlines, Marcus Schrenker, who pleaded guilty to avoid a trial, faces his next legal challenge in March.

Schrenker remains in the Hamilton County Jail.

Pilot mystery - See stories and documents related to Schrenker's case