A Millionaire Inmate Hatched an Elaborate, Expensive Plan to Escape From Jail. Then He Got Caught.

A man incarcerated in Florida tried to use his wealth to escape from jail and flee the country, but authorities discovered his plan and thwarted the attempt.

John Manchec’s plot involved a medical appointment set for April 12, but one of the people aware of the scheme tipped off authorities, Associated Press reported. Investigators looked into it, and discovered through jail phone records that the 78-year-old was using the code words “paint job” to discuss the plot with his employees.

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Here was the plan: Manchec’s employees would pepper-spray prison guards. Then, his accomplices would take him to his private plane located in nearby Fort Pierce, so that he could go to France. He was would be able to accomplish all of this because he’s a multimillionaire who holds dual U.S. and French citizenship, Indian River County Sheriff Eric Flowers said at a press conference, according to AP.

Multimillionaire John Manchec tried to escape a Florida jail, but a tip led to his plot being foiled by authorities.
Photos of multimillionaire John Manchec.

“Essentially, the plan comes down to this,” Flowers said. “These folks that are on the outside are going to wait until Manchec has a doctor’s visit, and they are going to take out our corrections staff while he’s out at the medical facility.”

The employees were tasked with preparing his plane, 140-foot yacht, a black van and other vehicles he purchased specifically for the plot, Flowers said. Manchec also paid the bail for a cellmate so they could live in his house, pack a suitcase and his favorite liquor. His plan was to go “back to his castle in France” so he wouldn’t face charges.

Manchec is currently in Indian River County Jail and facing additional charges related to the plot. He was originally arrested on December 18, 2014 and charged with 49 counts of possession of child pornography, Indian River County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.

Two inmates and two employees have also been arrested and charged with conspiracy in the escape plot, AP reported. Manchec’s attorney information wasn’t immediately available, and AP’s attempts to reach his lawyer were unsuccessful.

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