The Associated Press
HOUSTON (AP) -- A businessman who officials say tried to fake his own
death when his boat slammed into a barge in the Houston Ship Channel
this summer has been arrested and charged with fraud.
The U.S. Coast Guard spent several days unsuccessfully searching
Larry Michael Nixon, 54, of Clear Lake, after his 40-foot speedboat,
the "Living Extra Fast," collided with a barge in the ship channel on
He was arrested near Forth Worth on Friday on a felony fraud warrant
from West Virginia, said Lowell Moss, a spokesman for the Parker
County Sheriff's Office.
Days after the boating accident, Minnwest Bank Central of Montevideo,
Minn., filed suit against Nixon and his company, Delta Crane, which
leased large equipment to contractors. Papers in the lawsuit contend
that Nixon entered into a Feb. 25 agreement with the bank providing
him with a $4 million line of credit. Bankers gave Nixon a notice of
default 22 days before the boat collision and demanded payment.
The West Virginia fraud charge was connected to a 1994 incident in
which one man has already been convicted in a scheme to lease a crane
he didn't own.
Nixon, well-known for his love of fast boats and parties, was
arrested while living in the guesthouse on a gated estate of several
acres off Interstate 20, just west of Weatherford in Parker County,
by deputies acting on a tip from the Dallas FBI office.
"Initially, we thought he probably went to South America," said Kemah
Police Chief Roy Owen, whose agency initially investigated the
Owen said investigators were initially suspicious about the boat
crash. The position of the controls and damage to the boat led them
to believe there was no driver on board when it crashed.
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Nixon surrendered peacefully to deputies who found significant
amounts of what they believe are steroids in the guesthouse. Moss
said Nixon also has been charged with possession of a controlled