!!!!!!! Warning !!!!!!! !!!!!!! Warning !!!!!!! !!!!!!! Warning !!!!!!! !!!!!!! Warning !!!!!!! !!!!!!! Warning !!!!!!!
I am writing about a NJ boat brokerage that has outright stolen people?s money. The Company is Snug Harbor Yacht Sales - Web site (http://www.snugharboryachtsales.com/index.html) Phone # 732-701-9333, with the owner being Tom Gingras. This is meant to provide, consumer awareness, and to exercise extreme caution when dealing with this company / individual.
I have been looking to upgrade to a larger fishing boat to purchase. I found it (2000 Mako 293) on Boats.com, where I was directed to Snug Harbor Yacht Sales. I live in Wilmington, DE and the boat is located in Bayville, NJ. I contacted the sales office [October 2002], inquired on the boat and arranged to see/ inspect the boat. Within the couple of weeks from initial contact and actually viewing the boat for the first time there were a total of 3 different salesmen assigned to this boat that I dealt with [that should have been the first red flag]. I liked the boat and made an offer, through negotiations we agreed on a price. I signed a contract: (contingent upon a Marine Survey, Mechanical Inspection (of the outboards), and Sea Trial) and placed 10 % deposit of the contract ( $ 6,850 for overall purchase price of $ 68,500). I had a professional Marine survey performed and a separate mechanical inspection of the outboards (by an authorized Mercury dealer). Several minor problems were reported as normal, however I discovered that the boat engines had 158 hours instead of the 50 hours in the ad specs and the boat did not have air conditioning (as verbally described to me). I therefore send a cancellation of the contract, based on the findings. I requested a drop in price or a refund of my deposit. The boat owner did not agree to the new offer ($ 65,000), so I asked for my money back. The brokerage owner ? Snug Harbor Yacht Sales (Tom Gingras) has not returned my phone calls or made any other form of correspondence [5 weeks]. The salesman (Tom Murphy) tells me that only the brokerage owner can refund my money. The original check was made out to Snug Harbor Yacht Sales. I have paid for all the inspections/surveys, so there are no expenses outstanding (I have copies of all the documents, ads, and contract).
The worst part that I have come to find out is that the owner, Tom Gingras, has been pulling this stunt for some time. It appears that everyone in the local area of this brokerage company is aware of his tactics. My first indication came when I met with the Boat Surveyor (William Gross), he indicated that several people had not been able to obtain their deposit money back. Unfortunately my check had already cleared when I heard this.
I have continued to contact the salesman, Tom Murphy and another salesman (Frank Stebbins) from Snug Harbor Yacht Sales. Both men tell me that there are many similar cases going on. The owner leaves for days without any communications or word of pending business. When I tried to call one day (1/8/03) all the phones had been temporarily disconnected. Frank, Tom, and the secretary have all left the outfit.
I then took the day off to travel from Delaware to Bay Head, NJ. I started with the Bay Head police dept to file a formal complaint (Theft by deception). From Lieutenant Grace - It seems that Gingras has been indeed doing this for some time in several towns (Brick, Brielle, Bay Head - NJ). The reason he?s gotten away with it for so long is that most people have never filed a formal complaint. So he [Gingras] counts on this, and those people that persist, he?s returned their money ? several months later. Those that give up, he keeps their money. It seems he has really been putting it on strong however; because there seems to be a flood of recent people coming forth. From what I have been told the losses are: myself $ 6,850, 2 cases in NY one for $ 11,000 and one for $8,200, 5 from NJ for $ 38,000, $30,000, $ 5,000, $ 3,000, and $ 500, and one from RI for $ 30,000 !!!. There are a total of 7 signed police reports as of 1/30/2003, and a couple more are supposed to file soon. The county prosecutor?s is now investigating.
There is reason to believe that [Gingras] is heading for bankruptcy and will try to wash all this away to make off with the loot.
If anyone knows of any other victims they should contact:
· Bay Head Police http://www.bayheadpolice.org/ at (732) ? 892-0632 ask for Lieutenant Grace
· Ocean County prosecutor?s office Anthony Pierro 732-929-2027, and/or Investigator Mark Malinowski to file a complaint. Web site http://www.co.ocean.nj.us/prosecutor/main.htm .
· BBB - 1700 Whitehorse-Hamilton Square Road - Suite D-5 - Hamilton, NJ 08690 - Phone 609-588-0808 Fax 609-588-0546 Contact Joan Klek
· NJ Consumer Affairs http://www.state.nj.us/lps/ca/home.htm
o Ocean County Dept of Consumer Affairs - PO Box 2191 - Toms River, NJ 08754-2191 Phone 732-929-2105 Director Kenneth J. Leake - Contact Ed McBride 732-288-7810
· Internet Fraud Complaint Center (if applicable) run by the FBI http://www1.ifccfbi.gov/index.asp
· US Mail - mail fraud (if applicable) https://www.usps.com/postalinspector...dComplaint.htm
· Boat US Caroline Ajootian, AVP Director, BoatU.S. Consumer Protection Bureau - 880 S. Pickett St. - Alexandria, VA 22304 703-461-2856 phone - 703-461-4674 fax ? email [email protected]
email [email protected]
[This message has been edited by grover (edited 01-31-2003).]