Millionaire-Turned-Arsonist Commits Courtroom Suicide

Chilling Video Shows Man's Swan Song

For a former Wall Street millionaire-turned-arsonist, a lengthy prison sentence was truly a fate ‘worse than death.’

Click on "next" at the bottom right for the YouTube video of the courtroom ordeal.

A convoluted home arson case dating back to 2009 ended in tragedy late last week, when Michael Marin chose to end his life rather than face social ostracism and between 7 and 21 years in prison.

Upon hearing a guilty verdict, the 53-year-old father of four swallowed a pill and started convulsing on the courtroom floor shortly thereafter. Although officials rushed to his aid and attempted to resuscitate him, Marin was dead within minutes.

On Top of the World

Marin’s fall from grace was dramatic. Years ago while working as a Wall Street trader, he owned original Picassos and a 10,000-square-foot mansion in a posh enclave of Phoenix, Ariz. Marin spoke of his charmed life on Facebook, where he posted that he had scaled six of the world’s seven tallest mountains.

But the millionaire attorney became a desperate man when, like many Americans crippled by recession, he fell behind on mortgage payments and depleted savings. At the time of the suspicious blaze for which Marin was prosecuted, he had $50 in his bank account, which was down from $900,000 a year prior.

Despite an apparent lack of cash flow, Marin contended with massive financial obligations, including a monthly mortgage payment of over $17,000, along with a $2,500 monthly payment on another home and a $34,000 tax bill. Additionally, a balloon payment of $2.3 million on his mortgage was due.

When Marin emerged from his burning palatial estate in scuba gear on July 5, 2009, investigators were more than a little leery. Marin claimed to have escaped the unexpected blaze using a rope ladder and wearing scuba equipment to avoid smoke inhalation.

Fire investigators later determined that the fire was deliberately ignited. Armed with this information and clues as to a possible motive, authorities arrested Marin, whom a jury found guilty of one felony count of “arson of an occupied structure” on June 28, 2012.

By many accounts, Marin’s prison sentence (7 to 21 years) seemed harsh, given the fact that no one else was present at the time of the fire (and thus not endangered). Of course, Marin may have negotiated a shorter sentence, had an earlier plea deal been carried to fruition.

His Swan Song

There is speculation that Marin consumed cyanide or some other poison. On Friday, June 29, an autopsy was underway to test for the presence of poison(s), but results are not expected for months.

The YouTube video above shows the courtroom ordeal and the dying man's last breath.

Page 2 of 2

Resource Center

View All »

EPLI Programs Crafted Just For Your Clients

Bring us your restaurant clients, associations and other groups and we’ll help you win more...

Is It Time To Step Up And Own An Agency?

Download this eBook for insight on how to determine if owning an agency is right...

Claims - The Good The Bad And The Ugly

Fraudulent claims cost the industry and the public thousands of dollars in losses. This article...

Leveraging BI for Improved Claims Performance and Results

If claims organizations do not avail themselves of the latest business intelligence (BI) tools, they...

Top 10 Legal Requirements for E-Signatures in Insurance

Want to make sure you’ve covered all your bases when adopting e-signatures? Learn how to...

Get $100 in leads with $0 down!

NetQuote's detailed, real-time leads have boosted sales for thousands of successful local agents across the...

The Growing Role of Excess & Surplus Lines in Today’s...

The excess and surplus market (E&S) provides coverage when standard insurance carriers cannot or will...

Increase Sales Conversion with this Complimentary White Paper

This whitepaper will share proven techniques - used by many of the industry's top producers...

D&O Policy Definitions: Don't Overlook These Critical Terms

Unlike other forms of insurance where standard policy language prevails, with D&O policies, even seemingly...

Environmental Risk: Lessons Learned from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate...

Whether it’s a chocolate factory or an industrial wastewater treatment facility, cleanup and impacts to...

Forensic Insider eNewsletter

Get investigative information and forensic insight to help you reach optimal claims outcomes – FREE. Sign Up Now!

Claims-Handling Guidelines

Claims Magazine is providing the following free guidelines and regulations in order to help adjusting professionals stay abreast of each state’s unique property and casualty claim-handling requirements.

View our State Guidelines »

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.