It is the high “seizure”.
A New York seaman says his ex-girlfriend left him high and dry – by escaping on her boat, according to new court records.
Michael Fortinberry claims he and then girlfriend Jessica Gates bought a Beneteau Oceanis 35 boat for $ 155,500 – each paying half – to start a sailboat tour company called Sailing Islander, according to his lawsuit before the Supreme Court in Manhattan.
The couple, who have been together since 2017, began offering sailboat excursions in New York Harbor, the lawsuit said.
Then the duo split in January – and Gates, who is from New Jersey, took the boat off and hid it and now refuses to tell Fortinberry where it is, court documents allege.
Gates “steals the joint venture’s most important asset – their sailboat – by relocating it to an undisclosed location,” documents say.
The boat, named “Islander”, can accommodate six guests and has a full bathroom, kitchen and several lounge areas on deck and inside, according to the Sailing Islander website.
Fortinberry and Gates had tours ranging from $ 575 for two hours on weekdays to $ 3,275 for a four-hour tour on July 4th.
Fortinberry says in his suit that he put $ 100,000 into the company to make it successful, including his half of the boat, as well as “significant technical skills and experience Ms. Gates lacked.”
Fortinberry has “25 years of sailing experience and is a US Coast Guard licensed boat captain” and personally sailed the boat from Florida to the Big Apple, according to the lawsuit. He took care of customers and serviced the ship, “everything that made the business flourish,” says the documents.
The deal âwas successful almost immediately thanks to the hard work of each partner,â the file says.
But everything changed after the couple separated, the lawsuit said.
In February, Ms. Gates “moved the boat from Liberty Harbor Marina to an undisclosed location without Mr. Fortinberry’s consent and refused to disclose its location,” and in February, “without Mr. Fortinberry’s knowledge at the time,” the lawsuit is filed .
Fortinberry claims Gates “barred Mr. Fortinberry from his rightful interest in the business,” the court documents read.
Fortinberry asked Gates for the company books, but they “refused to send any information,” the filing said.
He is now demanding $ 480,000 in damages from Gates and her company.
However, Gates told the Post over the phone that the allegations were “totally false”.
âI have a boat and it’s in my name. And I own it and I paid for it, âshe said.