Attorney who faked death pleads guilty

Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 3:50pm

The Music Row attorney who faked his own death and then later turned up in Montana last year pleaded guilty Wednesday to a two-count criminal information filed by the district attorney’s office.

Bill Grothe, 62, plead guilty to one count of attempting to defraud his insurance company and another of creating the false impression of his own death.

He will receive a three-year sentence, although the manner in which he serves will be decided at a hearing conducted by Criminal Court Judge Mark Fishburn on June 26. Olice said Grothe also owes $11,000 restitution for expenditures made trying to find him after he went missing last year.

Grothe’s car was found in Shelby Park near the Cumberland River and some of his belongings were scattered along the riverbank. Other belongings were found in a plastic bag dumped in front of a home on South Fifth Street.

Metro Detective Hugh Coleman eventually discovered that Grothe checked into a hotel in Montana. Police said Grothe himself made a cal to Nashville’s Emergency Communications Center claiming to be the man who murdered Grothe.

Eventually Grothe checked into a medical facility in Arizona in January, before returning to his Williamson County home. The long-time Music Row attorney was employed by SESAC at the time of his disappearance.


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