7 On Your Side: Freedom Boat Club

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Seven On Your Side
January 29, 2010 8:46:36 PM PST
Dan Frank had no comment as he walked out of court. Frank is the owner of a franchise called Freedom Boat Club. Providing luxury boats is his business.

But, according to a former employee and 2 other contractors, Dan also doesn't like paying his bills.

Anthony Sclafani of Nicholls Point Marina estimates that Frank owes him close to $9,500.

Gary Gudzig at the Boat Place says Frank's bill is up to $5,600 there.

One of Frank's former employees, Vince Roman, says that he's owed $7,000.

Roman's worked for Freedom Boat Club for the past 4 years. He says getting paid was a chronic problem.

"I was always calling, can I cash the check now? Can I cash it now? Then it would bounce," explained Roman.

Last August, Vince's $1,000 paycheck turned rubber. Then, Dan Frank told him another $2,500 check wouldn't clear.

"I don't work for free. I believe I work hard for that money and I deserve that money," said Roman.

Last year , Vince filed a claim with the State Department of Labor, asking for $7,000 in back wages. After only agreeing to speak off camera, Dan Frank told us he disputes the number of hours Vince worked, and only wants to pay him half, the two unpaid checks totaling $3,500.

That was in November. Today, he still hasn't paid a dime.

"For him to just turn around and say 'No, you're not going to get paid' it's disgusting," said Roman.

"It's rough. It's definitely rough," said Sclafani.

The owner of Nicolls Point Marina says he's done thousands in work for Dan, and hasn't been paid. "I've been waiting since 2006," said Gudzik of the Boat Place.

That's 4 years of waiting to be paid by Dan Frank. He still has three of the club's boats that he did work on.

When they try to collect, Dan Frank tells them he's not going to pay.

As for Vince, he took Dan to small claims court. Eyewitness News was there.

Dan asked the judge for a continuance so, no verdict and no money for Vince.

"I hope that everyone sees this about Freedom Boat Club and Dan Frank. All he's got to do is pay me. It's real simple," said Roman.

Eyewitness News called Freedom Boat Club's franchisor in Florida, but, they didn't respond to our numerous phone calls.

As for Dan and Vince, they have another court date in March. Eyewitness News will be there.