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Md. man who faked death loses federal appeal

Thursday - 2/28/2013, 5:49pm  ET

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A federal appeals court in Virginia has upheld the conviction and seven-year prison sentence of a Maryland man who faked his death by jumping into the Chesapeake Bay.

In 2009, Larry Deffenbaugh jumped from a boat, prompting a 15-hour search by the Coast Guard. Deffenbaugh swam ashore and was picked up by his girlfriend. They fled to Texas, where he was arrested after the case was featured on "America's Most Wanted."

The incident occurred two days before Deffenbaugh's scheduled hearing for a probation violation. He was convicted of conspiracy and communicating a false distress signal.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday rejected Deffenbaugh's argument that it couldn't be a conspiracy because his girlfriend didn't know what they were doing was a federal offense.

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