FBI investigating Michigan boat fraud

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. – A Michigan man who had been operating the Wharf Marina in Grand Haven is being investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Department of the Treasury in connection with a multi-million dollar boat-fraud scheme, the Grand Haven Tribune reported in a story today.

Michael Bruce Vorce, whose private security firm was raided by FBI and Treasury Department officers April 5, is accused of defrauding more than $16 million in loans from several West Michigan banks. Vorce allegedly had several loans approved for yachts that, for the most part, did not exist, the newspaper reported.

The Tribune, citing an anonymous source, said a handful of the nearly 40 boats are locked in another Grand Haven marina, repossessed from a Grand Haven storage facility.

Jon Rooks, owner of the Wharf Marina, said Vorce owes unpaid rent and property taxes for the marina. Vorce was leasing and operating the marina until just before the recent scheme was unveiled. Rooks terminated his contract with Vorce in mid-March and has since taken over its operations, according to the newspaper.

The deposit money Vorce collected from boaters for the upcoming summer boating season is missing, but Rooks told the newspaper that boaters should not be affected.

“My customers will not be affected,” Rooks said. “All of the deposits will be honored. It will be a seamless transition for our customers.”

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