Florida dealer accused of fraud

Published online: Nov 25, 2010 News Trade Only Today
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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.

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