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Former championship boater accused of scamming $50K in boat molds

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A Panama City Beach resident claims he was conned out of $50,000 in boat molds.

On Jan. 29, Michael Robinson sold the molds — which are used to construct fiberglass boats — to a man going by the legal name Andrew Biddle II, also known as Chris Riddle.

Riddle, 47, is former professional powerboat racer from New Jersey. In 2013, he and his boating partner won championships in both the U.S. and UK.

Riddle made a $8,400 down payment on the molds in the form of a check. He gave that, along with 10 other checks worth $4,167 each, to Robinson on the day of purchase.

When Robinson went to the bank to deposit the initial check, it bounced. Each of the 10 smaller checks also bounced.

Robinson notified Riddle of the issue and demanded his property be returned. Riddle refused to return the property. It is believed he either sold or destroyed the stolen property.

Robinson is requesting a jury trial and seeks damages and the return of his molds.

Because Robinson owns property in Pinellas County and Riddle is listed as a resident of the county, the suit was filed in Pinellas County Court Oct. 20, 2016.

The checks were under a company named Calypso Skiff LLC, located in Dunedin. According to BayLawsuits, the company was created in October 2015 by Riddle and Justin Belz. Calypso is a boat manufacturing company. The address where the company was located is a condo.

The landlord sued Riddle to vacate the property in June 2016.

Riddle has been scamming people long before this, claims BayLawsuits. In 2014, Riddle’s business partner, Belz, went to the police to report Riddle missing after a supposed boating accident. The Coast Guard searched for Riddle, but could not find him. Later, police determined it was a hoax to avoid fraud charges.

In early 2015, Riddle turned himself into the authorities.

Another man also claims to have bought a boat from Riddle, but never received it.

The FBI took over the investigation on Riddle.

 

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