Mark E. Kohl State Attorney in Monroe county florida-key west has ignored a grand theft.
Last October, Kevin McCarthy, of Amelia Island, Florida, drove down to Key West to look at a 45-foot boat being offered for sale by the Ocean Key House Resort. He looked at the boat, talked to a broker and was ready to offer the asking price of $110,000.
Then he learned that the hotel was planning to auction off the boat. So he checked with hotel General Manager Steve Boswell and the hotel's attorney, Alan Eckstein.
?I wanted to make sure that the hotel really owned the boat,? McCarthy told Key West the Newspaper this week. ?They told me that they had taken possession of the boat after the owner had defaulted on his dockage payments.?
So McCarthy authorized his broker to bid on the boat? and he got it for $71,000. And he got a purchase sales agreement from Attorney Eckstein.
McCarthy motored the boat up to Islamorada and left it there for 10 days for cleaning and servicing. Then he and his wife returned to the Keys to take the boat up to Amelia Island.
?We were nearing Miami when both engines quit on us,? he said. ?And while we were waiting on a tow, I got a call on my cell phone from Robert Krutko, who identified himself as the former owner of the boat. He told me, ?You are on my stolen vessel.'
?He said that the Ocean Key House had stolen the boat from him and had illegally resold it,? McCarthy said.
?I didn't know what to think, so while we were being towed to Miami, I called Attorney Eckstein. He reassured me that everything was okay. Then I checked with a Miami maritime lawyer recommended by the towboat driver. After listening to my story, he told me that I had probably bought a stolen boat.?
McCarthy said he had already made arrangements for extensive servicing in Ft. Lauderdale, so he had the boat towed there and, back home, consulted with another maritime lawyer in Jacksonville.
?He agreed with the Miami lawyer and, after some more research, he wrote Eckstein a letter demanding that they return my $71,000,? McCarthy said. ?It took them a couple of weeks, but they finally sent me the money.?
Last December, the Ocean Key House sued Krutko in federal court, alleging that he owes the hotel more than $60,000 in dockage fees. Krutko has counter sued, alleging grand theft.
Krutko said that, in June of 2005, he and his wife bought an existing sunset cruise and snorkeling business based at the Ocean Key House Resort marina. The deal included the boat.
?We were paying $3000 per month for dockage on a month-to-month basis,? he said. ?But we soon learned that we were losing thousands of dollars because the concierges at the hotel were referring business to our competitors. I complained to General Manager Boswell and he promised to put a stop to it. But nothing changed.?
Then, the hurricanes of September and October 2005 blew through, and many of the docks and walkways at the hotel were destroyed.
?The hotel had ordered all boats out of the marina before the storms but, after Wilma, we were allowed to return because our slip was intact,? Krutko said. ?But we were not required to pay rent for a couple of months because the marina was not operational.?
But by December, when the walkways in the marina had been repaired, he and his wife had decided to move the boat, put it up for sale and move on.
?But Boswell begged us to stay, even offering six months free rent because of the storms and the problems the concierges had caused us,? Krutko said. ?But the problem never got any better.?
So, a few days before the six-month free rent deal expired, Krutko said that he had an employee move the boat out of the hotel marina, up to his home on a canal on Cudjoe Key, 23 miles away.
?But it was decided that there wasn't enough room to put the boat at my dock, so he anchored it out in the bay,? Krutko said.
But, the next day, the boat was missing and Krutko filed a theft report with the Sheriff's Office. Deputies reported that a call had come in from a neighbor who said the boat was adrift and that he had called the Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC).
An FWC officer found the boat and a Sea Tow boat showed up at the same time. Then a call came in from the Ocean Key House. Hotel officials reportedly told the officer that the boat had broken loose in the marina and that it should be returned to the hotel.
?Incredibly, the FWC officer released the boat to the hotel, rather than having it towed to a secure location until the owner could be found,? Krutko said. ?It didn't seem to occur to the officer to question how the boat could have ?drifted' from the Ocean Key House to a location 23 miles up the Keys!?
A Sheriff's deputy reportedly later found the boat chained to the dock at the hotel marina. Upon questioning, hotel employees reportedly told the deputy that the hotel had a lien on the boat, but they could not produce any paperwork to support that claim.
?The Sheriff not only bought that bogus claim, a deputy called me and told me it was now a civil matter,? Krutko said.
Not long after that, the hotel sold the boat to Kevin McCarthy.
McCarthy said that, even though the hotel returned his purchase price to him, he is still out thousands of dollars for other expenses associated with buying and moving the boat. ?I am watching Robert's lawsuit against the hotel,? he said. ?When he wins his suit, I'm next in line.?
Krutko calls the hotel's lawsuit ?outrageous?.
?They are even suing for dockage fees during the time, after the storms, when the hotel didn't have any docks.? he said.
He said he is also disappointed in State Attorney Mark Kohl, who refused to accept his grand theft complaint against the hotel. ?Why can't he see grand theft when it's staring him right in the face??
While the lawyers wrangle, the boat remains in the custody of federal marshals in a Ft. Lauderdale marina, continuing to run up dockage bills.
this is only part-1 of story mark e kohl has still ignored this as of today when many attorneys can see grand theft within just a couple minutes. The deep pocket hotel still continues to get away with the crime why?