To whom it may concern,
Several months back i listed a yacht with a company called Marathon Boats and yachts a division of United yacht sales. During the time of my listing i had a group of individuals illegaly take posession of boat. My broker randy Rode of marathon boats and yachts was aware of my situation also was the other broker in the company lawrence Pirritino. Mr pirritino i spoke to on several occasions when my direct broker was not available. During the time of illegal taking of boat Randy Rhode and Lawrence Pirritino were told to hold off on any showing due to the fact the yacht was chained up and stripped by the thieves. Several months after the theft the people who stole boat decided to auction the yacht off claiming (civil matter) back rent was owed on yacht. In late October 06 To Around mid November 06 the thieves put the yacht up for auction. I was told by gossiping locals they heard the boat was going up for auction during the next few weeks. I immediately called my broker Randy and lawrence to ask them if they heard anything about this rumor they said no. This was just several days before the auction.
Several weeks later i contacted the coast guard documentation center ( federal agency who handles the ownership transfers on all documented vessels which this was) to see if they had anything on the sale of my yacht. The lady said yes we just got a bill of sale from kevin mccarthy of amelia island florida. They gave me his number and after a call to him and he called his attorney he was told he was on a stolen vessel.
To make a long story short the coast guard documentation center was called and they agreed ,without court documentation saying the marina could go take yacht and sell it themdocumentation center would not transfer ownership.
About three to four weeks had passed since sale, the marina had refunded mc carthys money knowing what they did was illegal so at this point mc carthy and i both being screwed by the same marina decided to discuss the events. Mc carthy told me several days before the auction he met with lawrence pirritino at the marathon boats and yacht office to discuss making an offer to me the owner. Mc carthy took the sales agreement home with him to sleep on it a couple days before making an offer.
Several days later he gets a call from lawrence pirritino telling him the yacht was being auctioned off by marina and that he could reprecent him at the sale due to the fact mc carthy was at the opposite end of the state. Mc carthy called marina attorney eckstein from key west to verify they had the right to sell yacht, attorney eckstein said yes. He also asked them if they owned the yacht, attorney eckstein said yes. The broker also told mc carthy the sale was due to non payment of rent claim by marina( he already knew it was illegaly taken from me). Mc carthy was also told by alan eckstein the owners owed money and they ABANDONED boat at the marina thats why it was being sold.
Mc carthy and his attorney after the sale clearly found out quickly just after the sale the marina lied and they actually sent a representative 23 miles to illegaly take it. During the original visit to marathon boats and yachts by mc carthy and the purchase agreement lawrence gave him to make an offer to me were all on marathon boats and yachts contract letterhead. When lawrence called mc carthy telling him about auction and representing him he told mc carthy his commision would be 10% ( that is the going rate) mc carthy after talking to hotel marina and broker felt comfortable in their answers to him so he told lawrence to go to auction that day and bid on boat. The boat was purchased for $71,000 at 10% commision lawrence got $7100 dollars.
Heres wher it gets real good. After the sale mc carthy was told by attorney alan eckstein to wire purchasce price of $71,000 to his account which mc carthy did a week or so after the sale. After the wire was recieved attorney alan eckstein told mc carthy to quicky get the transfer paperwork filed at documentation enter because the old owners were starting to raise h**l. He was then told by licensed broker Lawrence to wire his $7,100 dollars to his account which mc carthy did. After all this and several weeks later as i mentioned where mc carthy found out it was illegal and marina quickly refunded his money, lawrence was quickly also going to refund his commision also.
Lawrence now being confronted by myself (the original yacht owner who boat was stolen from) i also confronted the company he worked for being as they were the representative to sell my yacht as my broker, were now being cought up in lies. Lawrence called mc carthy and told him he would give him his money back but had spent it all so he set up monthly payment with mc carthy. He made one payment and now mc carthy hasnt heard from him since. Weeks after the sale when i found out from mc carthy lawrence pirritino represented him in the buying of yacht i was pissed off due to the fact that same company marathon boats and yachts had my boat listed for sale and d**n well knew the situation of it being taken illegaly.
The brokers both Randy rode and lawrence pirritino not only lied to me just several days before the sale about the auction rumors they lied to me after the sale saying they still hadnt heard anything nor knew nothing about a sale. then lawrence pirritino after me finding out he lied not only about knowing about auction but actually taking part in the auction. When i asked alwrence how he and randy could lie to me about his knowledge of the auction and taking part in it he tried then to tell me my broker randy didnt know anything about it.(my original broker i listed it with, which is a lie).
after this all unraveled i contacted peter schimdt of united yacht sales hes the owner and head broker these two sales representatives are licensed under. I was just told by lawrence several minutes before calling peter he wasnt working under the marathon boats and yachts/ united yacht sales and that the representing he did for mc carthy was done as a side deal himself and the money didnt go through the company. First of all until this moment mc carthy was under the understanding he was doing it under the brokerage company due to the fact he was never told otherwise and just several days before when he went to meet with lawrence pirritino it was at the marathon boats and yacht offices. The forms he gave him to make me an offer on was on marathon boats and yachts contract form.
This is simple, in the state of florida its illegal as a broker to do side deals and there other major problems also. the broker under the law must put moneys into escrow until title clears which he didnt . The head broker/owner is responsible for this also. He is also responsible for making sure deals like this outside and under the table dont happen. When i called peter schmidt confrontng his on this i was told lawrence did this as a side deal and it was not under his companys responsibility i was also told to go fu@@ myself and sue him if i had a problem .
Well the law says different and an investigation was just opened up today and ill keep everyone informed. If lawrence and the broker peter schmidt followed the laws and money went into escrow properly when the money was refunded to mc carthy by seller mc carthy would have gotten his commision refunded. This was totally illegal the broker lawrence lied to me along with randy rode who lied also. This was a criminal act and thats why they tried to claim it was a side deal and not done under the business. by this action it is clear lawrence pirritino knew what was going on and was doing a cash deal. the broker knew it was done also and still has not fired the broker so obviously peter schmidt supports his illegal actions.
I would in now way recommend anyone use this shady company united yacht sales or marathon boats and yachts (its sister company) for any services ,and will keep everyone up to date on the investigation. Mc carthy is typing a statement up for the state investigators as we speak as soon as i get a copy ill attach it here.
Companys and people involved in this illegal action
1) United Yacht Sales- stuart florida mail headquarters
2) Marathon boats and yachts- marathon florida
3) Lawrence Pirritino- Sales Broker- marathon and Ft Lauderdale office
4) Randy Rode- Sales Broker- Marathon florida