Florida dealer accused of fraud

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A boat dealer in Dania Beach, Fla., was arrested Tuesday and charged with defrauding customers by selling boats that had outstanding loans.

Detectives say Edward Spano, 72, the owner of Legacy Fisherman Inc., failed to pay off the loans, leaving 45 customers with a total loss of about $1.3 million, according to the Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Sun Sentinel. He faces a charge of organized fraud.

After he sold a boat, Spano would issue temporary tags and tell customers he would handle any paperwork the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles required, so customers didn’t discover the lien, officials told the newspaper.

Spano also made small payments in an attempt to keep the loans current and avoid triggering any collections or other action that would alert customers to the loans, officials said.

Detectives say Spano had been selling boats with outstanding loans since 2006.

Click here for the full report.

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Comments

6 comments on “Florida dealer accused of fraud

  1. gradyguy

    It is about time.  This guy has been a black eye for the boating industry for as many years as I have been in it.  This could have been done back in the 80′s or earlier.

  2. Ed Wiser

    Another reason why boat sales are down? What good is broker licensing if scum like this can rip people off for four years? Were the boats new and was he even licensed as a broker?
    This kind of thing is far too common in South Florida and reflects poorly on everyone in the industry. I was a broker in Fort Lauderdale for almost twenty years and have witnessed this story time and time again. I don’t know of a single instance where someone has gone to prison over it. Convicted white collar criminals in Florida usually get light sentences which may be why it is so common.
    Best evidence of Florida’s laissez faire attitude toward business ethics and behavior comes from the top. Our new governor Rick Scott was CEO of a firm that received one of the biggest fines in history for fraudulent and larcenous practices so Spano will probably never see the inside of a cell. Scott was forced to resign as Chief Executive of Columbia/HCA in 1997 amid a scandal over the company’s business and Medicare billing practices; the company ultimately admitted to fourteen felonies and agreed to pay the federal government over $600 million. Now he is the new Governor. So much for the credibility of south Florida business men and the morality of Florida voters.

  3. common sense

    WHY did this take so long?  He should had been arrested after the 1st customer was ripped off- not wait for 44 more to be screwed!!!  What’s up with Dania Beach?  There was another fellow doing the same thing there for YEARS.
    For over 11 years now I’ve pointed out to Yacht World AND the Florida Dept of Regulation/ Yacht & Ship division a fellow who is not only isn’t licensed as a broker or real estate agent (advertises as both) but his name isn’t even his legal name and has no license under fake one OR real. Customers brought this to my attention and wondered HOW this can be?  He’s still in business.
    So this story is no surprise to me!!

  4. straightshooter

    He was part of a Northeast crew that went down there in the 80′s and have been a blemish to the industry ever since.  They would screw the manufacturers first with promises, and then the floor plan companies, and finally some honest owners that employed them.  J.D. was convicted and had to flee the state in the 90′s and worked right down the block (there was a name for that canal back then).  I wonder if it was Junior or Senior, but what’s the difference.  What goes around comes around.  No tears here!

  5. USSNIM

    THIS GUY HAS BEEN DOING THIS CRAP HERE IN NY AND NOW DOWN THERE …THIS IS HOW THIS CREEP OPERATES HOPEFULLY HE WILL DO SOME JAILTIME…HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU DO THIS CRAP AND GET AWAY WITH IT …ITS INCREDIBLE THAT HE HAS BEEN OPERATING LIKE THIS ALL THESE YEARS AND ALWAYS HAD HIS HAND SLAPPED..HE IS A BLEMISH ON THE INDUSTRY HOPEFULLY THIS TIME HE GOES TO SEE BUBBA…

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