On Thursday, a former trader on Wall Street collapsed after hearing the verdict against him in court. The man, Michael Marin, was convicted of setting his Phoenix mansion on fire in an effort to get out of paying his mortgage. Marin put his hands to his mouth in what seemed to be an act of shock but it turns out that authorities believe Marin poisoned himself. Marin was convicted of arson in Maricopa County Superior Court, which could have put Marin in prison for 16 years.
A video, embedded in this post, shows Marin covering his mouth with his hands and then swallowing just five minutes after he learned his fate from the court. Marin could also be seen sipping from a bottle every so often. He then turned and spoke to the people sitting behind him and took a tissue from a woman. It looked like Marin was sobbing but his body was thrown into violent convulsions.
Just ten minutes after he collapsed, Marin was placed in an ambulance and transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police are investigating the cause of death, which could have been caused by poisoning, according to a spokesman from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
“They are leaning towards that. Obviously if you watch the video it looks like he does put something in his mouth,” Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jeff Sprong said. “We cannot verify that at this point and we’re not going to be able to until the toxicology report comes back.”
Marin liked to collect some of the most expensive items in the world, such as original Picasso sketches. He owned a Biltmore Estates mansion estimated at $3.5 million. Marin climbed Mount Everest in May of 2009 and used $800 climbing shoes to do so. Just two months later, Marin’s home caught fire, which prosecutors claim was not an accident. Marin fell into massive debt and could not afford the monthly mortgage payments of $17,250. According to some reports, Marin was in line for $650,000 from insurance should something happen to his home.
Upon arriving at the scene, firefighters found Marin donning a scuba tank and a mask. He reportedly climbed down an emergency ladder from the second floor to escape the fire. The fire began early in the morning and officials investigating the fire said that it started in more than one spot in the house. Flammable materials were also found around the home. There were no injuries from the fire and officials discovered that Marin was living in a smaller home at the time. Marin was charged with arson and his trial started five weeks ago.
“This is something new that I’ve never seen and I’m sure the courts haven’t seen it,” Sprong said. “I’m sure they’ll do everything they can do to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”