NJ Man admits faking his disappearance, prompting 2-day search – NBC10 Philadelphia

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What there is to know

  • A man who officials say faked his own disappearance to avoid prosecution for bank fraud, which resulted in a two-day Coast Guard search, has pleaded guilty to federal charges.
  • Andrew Biddle faces up to 36 years in prison when convicted in October.
  • The bank fraud charge was filed in 2014 after federal prosecutors said Biddle lied to get a $ 55,000 loan from a credit union. Biddle and another unnamed person then conspired to fake his disappearance.

A man who officials say faked his own disappearance to avoid prosecution for bank fraud, which resulted in a two-day Coast Guard search, has pleaded guilty to federal charges.

Andrew Biddle, 51, of Egg Harbor Township, faces up to 36 years in prison when convicted on October 18. He pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the bank fraud charge and forced the Coast Guard to provide unnecessary help.

The bank fraud charge was filed in 2014 after Biddle lied to get a $ 55,000 loan from a credit union, according to the US attorney’s office. Biddle and another unnamed person then conspired to fake his disappearance.

Biddle and his conspirator took a boat from a marina in Northfield on July 20, 2014 and crossed the Great Egg Harbor Inlet to a restaurant in Somers Point, where they finalized their plans. When they returned to the marina that night, the conspirator dropped Biddle between two piers, where he was picked up by another person and taken away.

The conspirator then intentionally struck a navigation marker in the creek near Longport, causing that person to be kicked off the boat, prosecutors said. This led to someone else calling 911, which triggered a response from the Coast Guard, state police and local rescue workers, who used vehicles and helicopters to search for Biddle until on the next day.

Biddle eventually admitted he was safe in Florida during the search and faked his disappearance, prosecutors said. He surrendered to Atlantic County authorities in February 2015.

It is not clear if anyone else has been charged in connection with the hoax.


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