Florida man to reimburse swindled boaters

Published online: Dec 08, 2010 News Trade Only Today

A 39-year-old Florida man who claimed to do marine service and repair work, but who defrauded three boaters out of nearly $90,000 in equipment and repairs, agreed to reimburse them in return for a lenient sentence.

Christopher Coomes had faced up to 30 years in state prison on each charge of obtaining more than $50,000 in property by fraud, but pleaded no contest to two counts of obtaining up to $20,000 in property by fraud, a second-degree felony, The Marco (Fla.) News reports.

Under a plea agreement Coomes, of East Naples, will serve two years of house arrest, followed by two years of probation, if he pays $70,000 by Feb. 18, which is his sentencing date. He'll use the four-year term to pay the remaining $18,000.

If he does not pay $70,000 by Feb. 18 he will spend eight years in state prison.

The crimes were committed in 2006 and 2007, according to reports.

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