Alaska Man Fakes Death to Avoid Prison, Gets Caught and Sentenced

By Lisa M. Schaffer, Esq. on November 13, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

So much for avoiding prison time! An Alaska man successfully committed pseudocide but chose a loving, yet lousy co-conspirator. Now he's headed back to prison for the sentence he was trying to dodge, plus an extra 15 months from a federal judge for fraudulent related activity.

A Bad Egg That Can't Keep It to Himself

Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that Ryan Meganack, who was found guilty of sexually assaulting an incapacitated women and sentenced to 15 years in state prison, would want to fake his own death to avoid the slammer. But he didn't choose to go it alone. He roped his girlfriend into the plan.

A commercial fisherman by trade, Meganack allegedly set sail from Port Graham, Alaska, abandoned his boat, made it back to Port Graham on another boat, and had been hiding out near his mom's house ever since, just waiting for the smoke to clear so he could leave Alaska for good. He enlisted the help of his girlfriend to call the authorities to announce he had gone missing to expedite the process of falsely declaring him dead. All was going swimmingly, until his girlfriend couldn't bear the tears of sorrow from Meganack's grieving parents, and informed them that Meganack was still alive. The authorities found Meganack and he is now safely behind bars.

Pseudocide, Interestingly Not a Crime

Pseudocide, the clinical name for faking your own death, is surprisingly not a crime. However, it's like a cute belt. What do you do with just a belt? Usually, nothing. You need an outfit. Same goes with pseudocide. Though it is not a crime, what good is it to pretend that you are dead? Did you find a co-conspirator to help you with the scheme? Crime! Did it include a fake police report? Crime! If the pseudocide lasted longer than a year, did you avoid paying state and federal taxes? Crime! Did you violate any court orders (like child support) or avoid a prison sentence by faking your death? Crime! As you can see, it's the consequences of the pseudocide that gets you!

If you're thinking about committing pseudocide, consider it a game of billiards. You need to think past the first shot. And if you can't set yourself up to win, don't play the game. If you're afraid to face jail time for an arrest, perhaps a better strategy is finding a better criminal defense lawyer in the first place.

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