The F.Y.B.A is a group who is supposed to oversee the yacht broker industry and make sure high industry standards and practices are upheld.
In the case im about to describe to you this clearly wasnt done. A member of F.Y.B.A American Marine Yacht Brokers clearly broke the laws and this group ignored it. We also filed a report with the D.B.P.R in Florida whos job is to oversee the laws governing brokers and because of their friendship with this owner Peter Schmidt they clearly ignored the law. The broker laws are crystal clear as to the handling of escrow money and brokers not being able to commingle money.
The broker involved here lawrence pirritino (www.lawrencepirritino.com) not only commingled money with the owner Peter Schmidts permission he represnted the sale of a yacht he knew was stolen. I as the customer had the yacht currently listed with American Marine Yacht Bokers to sell. The yacht was illegally taken from my family and i notified the broker immediately in which he kept an eye on the yacht for me agreeing it was stolen. Several months after listing yacht the the broker showed the yacht on a Saturday to a potential buyer from north Florida. The broker even gave him a sales purchase agreement on my behalf. Two days later the thieves notify him they are auctioning off yacht and he calls the potentail buyer he just showed my yacht to and advised him of the auction. His excuse was " the attorney doing the auction told me they were legally auctioning off yacht" Knowing it was stolen from us and still in our name. Three days after the showing he represents the north Florida buyer without notifying us what was going on (he still has a contract to represent us). The auction starts off at 61k and this broker starts at 71k with nobody else there bidding. The Broker before the sale told the buyer he would do it for a 10% commision and they agreed. The buyer is ntified he won the auction for 71k. Two weeks or so later the buyer wires the attorney the money for yacht and heads down to get it. He picks broker up to go with him. At the attorneys office he is handed a rciept /bill of sale and documentation papers. He is told to get the papers in immediately because the yacht was hidden from the owners. He was also told to keep it out of sight. The broker stood there present and didnt say a thing. Below is a letter from the buyer. As you will se in his letter several weeks later he was refunded the money because documentation center clearly saw it was illegal.
To whom it may concern
In October of 2006 I was the only bidder at an auction held at the Ocean Key House Resort in Key West Fl the resort was auctioning a 45' Corinthian passenger vessel that they said they had taken possession of for none payment of dock fees. over the next few weeks I wired the resort $71,000 and I drove to the Key's to take possession of the vessel. In November of 2006 I stayed in Islamorada in the middle Keys I had made arrangements with a marina there to do some repairs on the vessel. The broker who represented me for the purchase of the vessel Mr. Lawrence Pirrintino to whom I paid a commission of $7,100 on top of the $71,000 purchase price, drove me from Islamorada to Key West we met there with the resorts attorney Mr. Alan Eckstein at the meeting Mr. Eckstein gave me what I thought was a valid bill of sale, a letter stating the sale of the vessel was a non-judicial sale of a vessel for unpaid dockage fees sold under section 328.17 of the Florida Statutes and a copy of the application information for transferring ownership to me through the U. S. Coast Guard National Documentation Center. At the meeting Mr. Eckstein told me that the vessel had been moved from the resort in Key West to a privet dock some 20 miles north to hide the vessel from the previous owner and that the previous owner could attempt to repossess the vessel I was also told that the previous owner had been making a lot of accusations to all of the law enforcement agencies to stop the sale of the vessel this was the first time that I had any indication that there could be some problem with this transaction but by this point they had my money and I would have to make the best of the situation. Mr. Eckstein assured me that the sale was in fact legal however he suggested that I should apply for the transfer of ownership as soon as possible.
The sale of the vessel was in fact not legal and I was forced to hire an attorney my $71,000 were returned to me. This has cost me to date about $20,000 in expenses and many hour of my time in an attempt to simply purchase a vessel for my business.
XXXXXXXXXXX Florida Ave.
Fernandina Beach Fl 32034
After the sale the buyer wired the broker his money and it went into his private account. The broker was called by the buyer several weeks laer after he got his refund from the auction and advised the broker he wanted his commision refunded, but the broker alreay spent the money. The broker did agree to make monthly payments and stopped after the first payment for several months until i publically brought this out now hes back on track. The whole purpose of escrow accounts is for this purpose. I contacted the F.Y.B.A about this situation and got an e mail from the reident who was on vacation but said he wanted to talk to me as soon as he got back.
I am on vacation but I am very interested in talking with you when I get back.
Your email address seems familiar have we talked before?
I am not sure how but your email was in my spam box and usually I just delete my spam with out checking, I just got lucky and saw this before I deleted it.
Have you made a formal complaint to the FYBA?
President Yacht Sales Division
1800 SE 10 Avenue
Fort Lauderdale F, 33316
Of course once they found out which member it was they never called back. You would think with serious allegations like this a group who is supposed to promote a high standard of conduct in their industry would want to get to the bottom of this but obviously not. Below is a statement from the F.Y.B.A's own web site
The Florida Yacht Brokers Association was created in 1987 to unite those engaged in the yacht brokerage business for the purpose of promoting professionalism and cooperation among its members; and to promote and maintain a high standard of conduct in the transacting of the yacht brokerage business.
Each member is required to abide by a code of ethics to protect the public against fraud, misrepresentation, or unethical practices in the yacht brokerage profession. Each member is to endeavor to eliminate any practices, which could be damaging to the public or the dignity and integrity of the yacht brokerage profession.
Theres no concern with this group about any codes of ethics. It's also clear when a member is involved they cearly are not concerned about FRAUD,MISREPRESENTATION,UNETHICAL PRACTICES. Maybe their ethics should state WE CARE BUT NOT WHEN IT INVOLVES OUR PAYING MEMBERS..
Below is several e mails that i recieved from brokers throughout florida. Its clear the law was broken and some of them are members of the F.Y.B.A.
"Something also smells about the bidding.....if no one else was there where did the other 10k in bids come from?"
Side deals are usually considered unethical and in many cases illegal."
"Naturally, the situation you described sounds sketchy."
"the broker of record is responsible for the escrow account, not the salesman. You cannot have any comingling of funds at all. The state laws are crystal clear on that and have been enforced on a regular basis.All funds have to be deposited into the broker's company account."
(The broker of record is Peter schmidt United Yacht Sales)
Good luck with your issues.
Do not be intimidated by all the BS that everyone says. The law is the final say so.
As you can see i have any more Florida yacht brokers on record saying the law was broken. Why is everyone ignoring the situation, Its simple the F.Y.B.A enjoys its membership dues from Peter Schmidt and somethimes its easier to ignore and not make waves than standing up for what your group beieves in. Any group who has a code of ethics and cannot make sure members follow them and not even return a call like they promised obviosly dont give a d**n escpecially when its own members are involved.
I guess if your going to lie,cheat,and break the law a group like the F.Y.B.A will turn its heads if you are a mamber. I personally couldnt belong to a group who ignores serious complants on its members,and ignores its own code of ethics.