Florida boat dealer convicted in consignment case

A Florida boat dealer received probation Thursday after agreeing to repay $312,000 to owners of boats he sold on consignment, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Ralph Duwayne Smith of Tropical Breeze Boating Center in Altamonte Springs, Fla., was accused of selling two dozen boats on consignment, but never forwarding the proceeds to his clients. Others said they had paid Smith, but never received the boat they purchased, got a different boat or didn’t get title to the boat.

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison, but the sentence was suspended as long as he pays the clients back over the next 10 years.

Smith’s brother, Earl Smith Jr., was sentenced to five years probation in 2007 for a similar crime at his dealership, Aquamarine USA Inc.

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