PT boat project turns into battle

Marina, Liberty Aviation Museum battle over World War II-era attack craft’s ownership, re-tooling
Tom Jackson
Apr 9, 2014
A battle between a local marina and local museum over renovations to a World War II era PT boat has escalated into a lawsuit and a criminal probe.

The fight pits Treasure Cove Marina, which says it is owed more than $100,000, against Liberty Aviation Museum, which says the marina has been submitting fraudulent bills. Sheriff Steve Levorchick confirmed Monday his office is reviewing the allegations concerning billing practices.

Treasure Cove owner Rob Moore declined to comment and referred the Register to his attorney, James Reinheimer of Port Clinton, who didn’t return a phone call.    

Ed Patrick, CEO of Liberty Aviation Museum, contends Treasure Cove submitted obviously false invoices for parts his boat doesn’t use and has refused to submit a monthly statement of account, which Patrick contends is standard for a business carrying out an ongoing project.

Treasure Cove’s parent company, JMR Marine Consulting LLC, filed a lawsuit against Liberty Aviation Museum and PT 728, the torpedo boat, on April 2, alleging JMR is owed $121,823.81 for repairing, maintaining, storing, furnishing and equipping the boat.

The suit asks for the $121,823.81 and for permission to seize the boat. It also seeks an order for the boat to be sold.

The case has been assigned to Common Pleas Judge Bruce Winters and a hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday.

Patrick, a retired police officer for the city of Rocky River, said the museum has nothing to hide and phoned the Register to discuss the case. He sent the Register a written summary of some of his complaints against Treasure Cove.

“This is the first time we’ve ever had a problem with anyone,” Patrick said. “We are not behind or delinquent with anyone” He says that Treasure Cove has billed Liberty for parts that clearly belong to civilian boats, including Mercury outboard motor parts, personal watercraft, trailer parts, and gasoline engine parts. “The PT boat has diesel engines,” Patrick wrote in his summary. “None of these items has ever appeared on the job site …” Patrick also contends that Treasure Cove sent documents claiming one employee worked 25.5 hours in one day, and 19.5 hours another day. “Maybe Treasure Cove has a time clock that bends and squeezes time” he said. He said the museum has taken some of its complaints to the sheriff’s office and is alleging fraud.

Levorchick confirmed his office has begun a probe but said it’s in its early stages.

“We do have a detective looking into it” he said. “There’s an audit being performed right now in house at the museum”

The office will likely seek help from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, he said. He said he has no opinion yet on whether fraud occurred.

“This is really early” the sheriff said. “This is something that’s going to be ongoing for a while, I think”

Comments

KnuckleDragger

I would like to see the invoices. Some parts are interchangeable. A boat this old would likely have to be restored using parts that aren't necessarily used on such a boat because original parts may be impossible to find. As for billing for 25.5 hrs in one day, I'm not sure how someone would figure that out since all invoices I have ever seen for boat repair are broken down into the price for parts and labor hours. Labor hours are determined by the job and are not listed as to how many hours a mechanic worked on the boat in a day so I would be interested to know how they came up with 25.5 hrs in one day from an invoice because it is never listed that way.

Peninsula Pundit

'....I would be interested to know how they came up with 25.5 hrs in one day from an invoice because it is never listed that way.'
On what basis do you make the claim 'it is never done this way'?
'Never' is a word one almost always errs in using.
Are you privvy to the details of the contract?
If not, how can you intelligently make that claim?
On a project of this size, I would most definitely demand a thorough accounting of the expenses as the project progressed.
Wouldn't you?
Oh that's right, your political beliefs demand you trust business blindly.

KnuckleDragger

Having had work done one more than one boat, and family that works on boats for a living is what I am going by. They may have accounted for every hour, but my guess (from my own experience and looking at old invoices for work complete) is that it is commonplace to bill for labor hours according to the job. What does my political affiliation have to do with anything? If you think I just blindly trust a business to do the right thing you are wrong. The fact that you included that statement at all speaks volumes to your ignorance. Grow up buddy, not everything is about politics.

Browndog271

Everyone lists hours worked and bill as well. If you just invoice a lump sum, you are padding the bill. Simple accounting here.

Stop It

Especially if it's a "time and material" type of job instead of "bid work". In my experience, those bills always get padded with something done on someone else's stuff to save another small client a big expense that a bigger client usually just glances at, accepts and pays.

Edit to add: The bill padding goes without saying to ANY type of gov't contract based on the 'time and material' method. Emphasis on time. Material is cheaper than labor.

The governed

Anyone who has ever don business with Rob Moore knew that it was only a matter of time before he would screw this most recent second chance of his many up. I feel terrible for his employees but he will always be what he is, it is a wonder he hasn't been sent to prison in the past.