Lawsuits

Trade Only follows developments in lawsuits that can have a significant effect on companies or sections of the worldwide marine industry.

Former marine executive gets five years in prison

Mark Steven Phillips, 62, the former corporate director of Striker Aluminum Yachts, was sentenced to five years in prison on Wednesday by the federal judge who presided over his drug-smuggling trial more than three decades ago. Phillips was an executive with the Fort Lauderdale boat company, his family business, when he met with gang members…more

Canadians charged in boat-buying scam

Two Montreal men are charged in an attempt to buy boats in a “black money” scam in Calgary, Alberta. Gordon van Gunst of Glenmore Sailboats became suspicious last month when two customers who said they were political refugees from Sierra Leone wanted to pay cash for four $20,000 sailboats, the Calgary Herald reported. The cash,…more

Former boat dealer sentenced in fraud case

A former Wisconsin boat dealer who spent years on the run in Brazil was sentenced this week to five years in prison in connection with fraud schemes, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Leonard Kolschowsky, 68, pleaded guilty March 21, acknowledging he was responsible for nearly $1 million in losses related to a false loan…more

Five plead guilty in Arizona boat-loan fraud

Five defendants pleaded guilty in federal court this week to defrauding banks of $5.4 million in a conspiracy involving the Surfside Boat Center, a high-end boat dealership in Mesa, Ariz., that is now defunct. The defendants are David Orville Allen, 57, now residing in Texas; David’s brother, Jeffrey Allen, 56, of Mesa; David’s sons, David…more

Virginia man pleads guilty in boat-sale fraud case

A man faces up to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty to 33 charges related to selling boats at Smith Mountain Lake, Va. John Alan Arthur, 33, entered an Alford plea in Franklin County Circuit Court to three felony and 30 misdemeanor charges stemming from transactions at a marina near Bridgewater Plaza between August…more

Conviction upheld in slaying of Florida boatbuilder

A Florida judge Tuesday refused to overturn the conviction of powerboat racer Benjamin Kramer, who was charged with ordering the 1987 assassination of powerboat builder Don Aronow. Kramer pleaded no contest to manslaughter in 1996 and agreed to a 19-year sentence to run concurrent to a life federal prison term for marijuana smuggling, the Miami…more

Cruise company sues Canadian boatbuilder

A Connecticut cruise company is suing Irving Shipbuilding for more than $40 million in restitution and damages over a vessel that it says does not meet necessary regulatory standards. The action that Pearl Seas Cruises brought in U.S. District Court in Connecticut alleges breach of contract for the overnight passenger cruise ship, which was slated…more

Michigan boater convicted in Great Lakes sinking

A Cheboygan, Mich., mariner was sentenced to 50 months after being found guilty on charges related to the sinking of a boat and polluting the water, a U.S. attorney announced last week. Wayne T. Duffiney, 60, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Ludington and ordered to pay $57,308.05 in restitution to the Coast…more

Florida broker charged in boat theft probe

The owner of a Florida boat and yacht brokerage and another man were arrested on grand theft charges after authorities said they sold stolen boats overseas. Mark A. Conner, 38, of Treasure Island, was arrested last week on charges of scheme to defraud and four counts of grand theft, the St. Petersburg Times reported. He…more

Report: $1.5 million in boats stolen, brought to Mexico

Federal prosecutors announced last week that 12 people were indicted on charges of stealing powerboats from Pinellas County and four other Florida counties and taking them to Mexico. The more than $1.5 million in stolen boats included a 34-foot 2008 Fountain, valued at $260,000, that was stolen Jan. 26, 2009, from Tierra Verde; and a…more

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