League City man arrested in multi-state fraud case
Friendswood police arrested a local boat-trailer manufacturer Tuesday who's accused of swindling customers in several states.
Authorities, and apparently several customers, say John Brett Zeagler, 41, of League City, and his Friendswood-based company, Instigator Custom Aluminum Boat Trailers, took their deposits to make custom boat trailers, but never delivered. Louisiana authorities asked Friendswood police to carry out the arrest after charging him with felony fraud and issuing a warrant.
According to a press release, Friendswood police began hearing complaints about the company in 2008. The alleged victims include people from Kansas, Washington and Oklahoma.
Police say Zeagler would negotiate prices with interested customers, then accept deposits for the ordered trailers, and never returned them.
"The deposits in our reports are between $900 and $1,200," says Friendswood Police spokesperson Officer Lisa Price. "We have at least six people from Texas and around the U.S. that have complained to the Friendswood Police Department, because the business address is in Friendswood. I do not have an estimate of how many people around the country have made complaints."
In the press release, Price says many of the customers reached Zeagler after seeing ads for his business in boating magazines.
Zeagler was arrested at his home in League City and is being held on $5,000 bond, awaiting extradition to Louisiana, Price says. She adds that Friendswood police are still investigating the case.
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