A man who faked his own death and cost the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Department tens of thousands of dollars during a multiweek search effort was located last week in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, after being caught forging prescriptions for drugs.
The man was a suspect in an $8 million insurance fraud scheme in Eden Prairie before going missing from Lake Mille Lacs in September.
Travis Magdalena Scott, 34, of Eden Prairie, is wanted on a federal arrest warrant for fraud-related activity in Minnesota.
On Sept. 10, 2011, the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Department received a report of a kayak found on the west shore of Lake Mille Lacs along Highway 169 near the Mille Lacs Band Marathon convenience store and gas station.
The kayak was found overturned with a gunshot hole near the back. Inside the kayak was a firearm and a suicide note indicating Scott took his life.
Scott had been listed by Mille Lacs County as a missing, wanted person since the discovery of the kayak, according to Mille Lacs County Sheriff Brent Lindgren.
That’s where Canada comes in.
It appears that Scott left the kayak on Mille Lacs Lake, made his way to shore and then flew a small plane to the outskirts of Winnipeg.
Canadian television reports last week stated a Winnipeg pharmacist concerned about a forged prescription helped capture Scott. Police allegedly took Scott into custody after they found forged prescriptions and identifications with different names that he had on him — including the names Paul Ian Decker and Travis Olson.
According to the Manitoba television station CJOB Channel 68, Scott was charged in Federal Court with defrauding an insurance company out of more than $7 million, citing lightning damage to computers for his business, Security Management Technologies. U.S. law enforcement officials seized three aircraft, a boat and three vehicles from his property in Eden Prairie and $5 million from various bank accounts.
Winnipeg police say a search of a residence the suspect was living in at Hargrave Street and Broadway Avenue found forged prescriptions and tools used to forge documents, about $35,000 in Canadian and U.S. currency, more than $85,000 in gold and silver coins, a taser and bear spray.
A search of a car parked at the pharmacy at the time of the arrest produced a restricted handgun.
Winnipeg police have seized the car and the plane. They are investigating how the suspect attained them, the television station reported.