LITH Man Sentenced in Puffer Fish Toxin Case
Edward F. Bachner IV was accused of trying to use the toxin to poison his wife and collect on her life insurance policy.
A Lake in the Hills man accused of trying to use a deadly toxin that comes from puffer fish to poison his wife was sentenced today in federal court in Rockford to more than 7.5 years in prison, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Edward F. Bachner IV, 37, was orderd to 92 months in prison but will get credit for the 52 months he has already served since his arrest in 2008, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Bachner pleaded guilty last August to charges of possession of a biological agent, wire fraud and filing a fraudulent tax return, according to the article.
Bachner was arrested in June 2008, when he arrived at the Algonquin UPS store to pick up a package of tetrodotoxin, or TTX, which is a deadly poison found naturally in puffer fish and which has no known antidote.
TTX is a neurotoxin that can cause respiratory paralysis within six to 24 hours of ingestion, according to the grand jury indictment.
Bachner allegedly ordered the TTX under the assumed alias, “Dr. Edmund Backer.” Bachner listed his purpose for the toxin as “marine antitoxin research,” according to the indictment.
Bachner's arrest drew national media attention when FBI agents searched his Lake in the Hills home.
As part of the overall scheme, authorities allege Bachner planned to use the toxin to kill his wife and collect on more than $20 million in life insurance policies that he had fraudulently obtained.
The other charges against Bachner included wire fraud and filing a false claim with the Internal Revenue Service. Bachner used money from filing false income tax withholding claims to pay almost $40,000 for the life insurance policies, according to the indictment.