An Upper Peninsula man who faked his death in Lake Superior to escape financial pressures has been sentenced to two years in prison for causing an expensive search by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Authorities say Mike Gokey of Marquette launched a kayak into the water with a life jacket and paddle in May 2008. Federal Judge Robert Holmes Bell ordered him to go to prison Wednesday and pay $57,000 in restitution to the government.

Gokey was the No. 2 official in former Gov. John Engler’s Upper Peninsula regional office. In February, he was sentenced to probation in state court in a fraud case.

Defense lawyer Paul Peterson says Gokey needed a break and only wanted to disappear for a short time.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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