Montana authorities are seeking a man they say staged an elaborate kidnapping hoax to avoid sentencing in an unrelated arson case.

The Livingston Enterprise reports Lionel Scott Ellison is wanted on a felony charge of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.

Ellison was found bound and with a bag over his head on the banks of the Yellowstone River near Lockwood the day before he was to be sentenced in May 2008.

The Billings man told authorities he was bound, beaten and thrown in the river, but prosecutors say he staged the scenario.

Ellison was given a five-year suspended sentence for setting a 2007 fire that caused extensive damage to a former girlfriend's car.

An arrest warrant has been issued for him.


Information from: Livingston Enterprise, http://www.livingstonenterprise.com