By Patrick Yost
A Lake Lanier fishing guide and his wife recently indicted on a combined 29 counts of fraud also had an investigation opened in 2018 for similar practices in Morgan County.
According to a published report in AJC.com, Bradley Shane Watson, 61, Cummings, was indicted by a Forsyth County Grand Jury on 10 counts of theft by taking, one count theft deposit account fraud, seven counts theft by deceiving and one count theft by receiving.
Watson was the focus of a 2018 investigation by the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office after an Aiken man alleged he met Watson at the TA Truck Stop to negotiate the purchase of a boat.
According to Lt. Brad Sellers, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, Watson allegedly accepted and cashed a $9,000 check from the man as down payment on a $45,000 boat on June 9, 2017.
Watson was supposed to deliver the boat to the man after it had been used at his guide service in April, 2018.
According to Sellers, Watson may have had some type of agreement with a boat manufacturer to use the boats for his guide service for a time and then sell the boats.
Sellers said the guide service used more than six boats at any given time. The Morgan County complainant was prepared to pay the remaining $36,000 for the boat but could not get in contact with Watson, Sellers said.
The man contacted Morgan County authorities in May, 2018 and told investigators that the boat had not been delivered and Watson was not responding to requests for a refund. Two investigators traveled to Watson’s Cumming, Ga. residence on June 16 and Watson produced a cashier’s check for $9,000 to the complainant on June 18.
The AJC. com story alleges that Watson and his wife Pamela Jo Watson are both accused of defrauding investigators out of more than $235,000.
Bradley Watson was, in part, allegedly taking deposits from investors to purchase a boat. Watson also had a marketing agreement with Carolina Skiff, a Waycross-based boat manufacturer and now faces a civil suit against him from Carolina Skiff, reports state.
Sellers said Morgan County investigators were happy to get it resolved for a complainant in the case. “Our victim was one of the first ones and we jumped on it then,” he said.