Florida marina owner faces 10 felony charges

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – The owner of Hideaway Marina in Pompano Beach, Fla., faces 10 felony charges after authorities allege that he tricked people trying to buy or sell pricey speedboats and refused to return large deposits on some transactions that fell through, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported in a story yesterday.

The Broward Sheriff's Office has arrested Pierre Gaudreau, 39, owner of Hideaway Marina, twice since November, accusing him of grand theft, forgery and fraud, the newspaper reported.

Among the allegations is that Gaudreau, acting as a broker, sold a Cigarette racing boat for almost $271,000, then lied about the sale in a court proceeding, saying the boat was still at Hideaway Marina. In the past year alone, eight civil lawsuits have also been filed against the dry storage marina or its subsidiaries, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Gaudreau, who is free on bond, will plead not guilty to all criminal charges, his attorney, Richard Rosenbaum, told the newspaper.

"All of these deals are done with written contracts, and these are not some naive individuals coming into boat transactions," Rosenbaum said.

Hideaway Marina has 15 employees and, in addition to the Pompano Beach location, the marina has a 20,000-square-foot warehouse in Oakland Park, Fla., to store boats on trailers.

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