Palm Beach County man accused of faking disappearance at sea gets probation

Posted at 7:44 AM, Nov 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-30 07:44:57-05

ROYAL PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- A Palm Beach County man who authorities say faked getting lost at sea has been sentenced to one year of probation.

The Sun Sentinel reports that 46-year-old Richard Ohrn received his sentence Tuesday. As part of a deal with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty in August to communicating a false distress message. He agreed at that time to pay $1 million to cover the cost of the pointless U.S. Coast Guard search.

Authorities say Ohrn set a blood-stained boat adrift in the Atlantic Ocean in March 2015. A report says he then used an inflatable boat to travel back ashore and flee to Georgia.

Authorities say he was trying to escape mounting costs from a lawsuit. The incident triggered a search by air and sea.