Published: Apr 27, 2011 9:37 PM EDT
Updated: Apr 27, 2011 6:37 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla- A Ft. Myers Beach man is under arrest for selling a boat he wasn't authorized to sell and pocketing a few thousand dollars along the way.

On February 7, the Lee County Sheriff's Office received a complaint from a man who says he was duped out of $3,400. The victim says he responded to an advertizement for a 402 Regal boat for sale, speaking to a person named Joe Fasula who identified himself as a broker representing the owner of the boat. The victim met with Fasula and the boat's owner at Ft Myers Beach where all three took the boat for a test ride. During the test ride, the victim offered to buy the boat for $34,000, which the boat owner declined.

The victim left, but an hour later, received a call from Fasula indicating the owner had reconsidered and that the $34,000 offer was now acceptable. The victim drove back to Ft. Myers Beach and again met up with Fasula who wrote up a bill of sale for the boat. When the victim inquired why the owner was not present, Fasula said the owner had left town for a few days and that he had the express right to sign the agreement as a representative of the owner. The victim wrote Fasula a check for $3,400 as a deposit for the boat until the deal could be closed. The victim says he received calls from Fasula over the next few days reassuring him the deal was on track but then the calls suddenly stopped. The victim left several message for Fasula, but never received a return call. At that point, the victim contacted the sheriff’s Office.

An investigation by the Lee County Sheriff's Office Economic Crimes Unit reveals Fasula negotiated the sale of the boat without the owner's knowledge or permission and cashed the $3,400 check for his personal use. A bank supervisor positively identified Fasula as the person who cashed the check.