Cari Lester enjoyed years of fun on her boat, then decided to sell it for a mini-van after her family had twins. 

She decided to consign the boat at Gulf Coast Boat Sales in Palm Harbor. A year and half later, she hasn’t seen a dime.

“No boat,” Lester said. “No money.”

The first sign of trouble?

“We started getting toll bills in the mail because they were using our trailer to transport boats to Sarasota,” Lester said.

Then, she claims she caught the manager crawling through a window when she showed up to the office to try to find her boat. 

More than 20 people have stepped forward to complain about this business, and it abruptly shut down a year ago.  

Customers either sold boats and didn’t get paid or bought boats and didn’t get titles.

A year ago, owner John Hartnett promised Better Call Behnken that he would make this right and pay people back. But customers, like Lester, say that hasn’t happened. 

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office says it is has an ongoing criminal investigation. 

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