Virginia Man, Ex-Fugitive Charged with Making Fake Distress Call

April 12, 2010

A former Virginia Beach man who disappeared two days before a scheduled court appearance in Maryland is charged with making a false distress signal to the Coast Guard.

A federal grand jury in Norfolk indicted 58-year-old Larry Deffenbaugh last week.

Deffenbaugh was arrested in Texas in February, nine months after reportedly falling from a boat in the Chesapeake Bay near Virginia Beach. The indictment says Deffenbaugh caused his brother to believe he had fallen overboard, prompting the distress call and an extensive search.

The incident occurred two days before Deffenbaugh's scheduled hearing for a probation violation in Calvert County, Maryland. Deffenbaugh had been convicted of theft for bilking more than 500 people out of cemetery services.

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