Florida man charged with stealing baseball player’s boat

A Florida man was arrested after he allegedly told his childhood friend that his boat sank before stealing it and fraudulently selling it.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

A Florida man was arrested after he allegedly told his childhood friend — major-league baseball pitcher Bronson Arroyo — that his boat sank before stealing it and fraudulently selling it for a fraction of its value.

Anthony Acosta, 38, is charged with selling a boat in 2013 that belonged to then-Cincinnati Reds pitcher Arroyo, a childhood friend who now plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Authorities say Acosta sold the 29.8-foot Concept Boat with twin outboard engines, purchased in 2006 for $167,000, for $22,000.

Arroyo had fired Acosta as his personal assistant in 2012, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Acosta was originally hired to take care of the boat. He was given a “generous severance package” and was told not to contact the pitcher, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The arrest warrant said Acosta was fired because a prescription drug problem was causing him to make mistakes in his work, the newspaper reported.

Acosta called Arroyo in 2013 and told him that his boat sank at the Westshore Yacht Club in Tampa, where it had been docked, according to The New York Times. Acosta told the pitcher his boat had been salvaged and was taken to a boatyard, where it would need several thousand dollars of repairs, according to the warrant.

Acosta tried to get money from the pitcher, but Arroyo refused to provide it, according to the Tampa Bay Times, which cited a warrant by Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent Charles Bufalino.

Acosta allegedly then took the boat to the Concept Boats yard in Opa-locka and sold it to the father of the yard's owner for $22,000. He provided a phony bill of sale with a forged signature from Arroyo — who knew nothing about the sale and was playing in Cincinnati at the time, authorities said.

In September 2013, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the new owner of the yacht, Manuel Avila, discovered a lien on the property and asked for his money back. Authorities said the new owners reached out to Arroyo when Acosta refused.

That was when the MLB pitcher learned that Acosta had forged his signature on a bill of sale, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The pitcher later paid off the lien and reported Acosta to police.

In a 2009 video posted to YouTube by Cincinnati.com, Arroyo offers a tour of his 48-foot Sea Ray Nasty Hook and refers to Acosta, who is identified as Arroyo's childhood friend, as “Captain Tony.” Both discuss how easy it is to navigate the boat.

Acosta is being held in the Hillsborough County jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Arroyo, 38, did not pitch this season after having ligament replacement surgery in 2014, when he was a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to a report in The New York Times.

The Diamondbacks traded him to the Atlanta Braves on July 30, and Atlanta flipped him — and his contract and 2016 option — to the Los Angeles Dodgers that day as part of a three-team trade that also involved the Miami Marlins.

Related

Registration for Outdoors Conference Opens

The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable’s June 1-2 virtual conference will include speakers and presenters from government agencies and ORR member partners.

Yamaha Sees Double-Digit Growth in Q1

The marine segment was up 7.4 percent, driven by demand for outboards in North America and Europe but tempered by supply-chain logistics.

Orion Announces SafetyPro Training

The factory-authorized courses are designed “to educate retail associates on how to match a boater’s type of boating with the different signal kits that we offer.”

A Truce on Tariffs?

The E.U. will suspend the June 1 increase of its retaliatory tariffs and agreed to negotiate with the U.S. to end steel and aluminum tariffs.

Argos 3D Forward Looking Sonar

For 20 Years, FarSounder has been developing and manufacturing 3D forward-looking sonar for vessels of all sizes.

Dometic Marine Appoints Executives

The company promotes a 20-plus-year employee and adds a vice president of aftermarket sales and e-commerce.

IMEA Launches Scholarship Program

The International Marine Electronics Alliance aims to recruit students into the field of marine technology.

RBFF Campaign Reels in Awards

The fishing-and-boating advocacy group’s Get on Board campaign was recognized by two national public relations organizations.

Suzuki’s Clean Ocean Project

Testing of the engine manufacturer’s microplastics filtering device continues as it moves closer to production. The company also released its full-year financials.