WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida man who reported his new wife missing while sailing in the Caribbean this spring has been charged with stealing as much as $100,000 in coins.

The Palm Beach Post reports that the federal theft complaint against Lewis Bennett was made public Monday.

Bennett abandoned his sinking 37-foot catamaran near the Bahamas in May. He told the Coast Guard he didn’t know where his wife, Isabella Hellman, was. Rescue crews found Bennett in a life raft.

Among Bennett’s belongings were 225 coins. Authorities later learned that Bennett had been first mate on a ship last year, when 617 collectible coins were stolen. The ship’s owner identified Bennett’s coins as those stolen. The FBI says a June raid at Bennett’s Delray Beach condo turned up 162 more coins.

It wasn’t known if Bennett has an attorney.


Information from: The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post, http://www.pbpost.com

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