Calif. yacht brokers deny fraud charges

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — A couple from Mill Valley, Calif., charged with embezzling about $250,000 from clients at their yacht brokerage pleaded not guilty Thursday, according to a report in the Marin Independent Journal. A trial date is pending.

Clay Prescott, 65, and Teresa Prescott, 49, owners of ABC Yachts in Sausalito and San Rafael, were arrested July 16 on suspicion of bilking money from boat sellers using their brokerage, the paper reports.

The couple was released on bail after the judge reduced the amount to $100,000 each, down from $500,000.

“The Prescotts are wonderful people who have never been accused of a crime before, and notwithstanding the allegations in this case, their actions were not malicious,” Peter Arian, public defender for Clay Prescott, told the paper. “They’re just people having a difficult time in this economy.”

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