Man with missing wife pleads guilty to having stolen coins

MIAMI (AP) — A Florida man who reported his new wife missing while sailing in the Caribbean this past spring has pleaded guilty to transporting as much as $100,000 in stolen coins.

The Palm Beach Post reports that 40-year-old Lewis Bennett entered his plea Thursday in Miami federal court. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

Bennett abandoned his sinking 37-foot (11-meter) catamaran near the Bahamas in May. He told the Coast Guard he didn’t know where his wife, Isabella Hellman, was. Rescue crews found Bennett in a life raft.

Among Bennett’s belongings were coins that authorities say had been stolen in St. Maarten last year from a yacht he was working on.

Hellman’s disappearance remains under investigation. Neither the FBI nor the Coast Guard has said whether it suspects foul play.

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