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More charges, lawsuit filed against fishing guide accused of fraud
Bradley Shane Watson

Former fishing guide Shane Watson is back in Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office custody after additional charges were filed against him for theft by deception, while a prominent boat company claims in a civil lawsuit that Watson deceived them into making donations to a charitable foundation that doesn’t exist.

Watson, 50, of Forsyth County and owner of Shane Watson’s Guide Service, was arrested on Oct. 17 for four new charges of theft by deception for incidents that took place in late 2017.

Watson was first arrested in July after investigators conducted a lengthy probe into accusations over allegedly fraudulent boat sales and investment deals in counties across the South. 

A recently filed incident report states that in August of 2017 Watson allegedly made a $50,000 boat deal with a county resident, promising a return of $80,000 by November 2017. The report states that the alleged victim was never repaid any money by Watson.  

With this most recent arrest, Watson has now been implicated in theft by deception and fraud cases in Forsyth, Walton, Ware, Banks and Monroe counties; Aiken County, S.C.; and the cities of Gainesville, Milton, Roswell and Alpharetta. Incident reports in each of these jurisdictions indicate a pattern of fraudulent dealings in which Watson allegedly took thousands of dollars from victims under the guise of legitimate investments. 

Forsyth County Court records also showed that Watson had been the subject of a civil lawsuit involving Carolina Skiff, a boat manufacturer based in Waycross with which Watson had a marketing agreement to promote the company’s boats and equipment.

According to the civil lawsuit, Carolina Skiff agreed on Aug. 11, 2017, to a marketing agreement with Watson to give him two boats on a nine-month, payment-free lease. Watson was required to feature the boats through his business and then purchase them at the conclusion of the nine-month period for $80,623.81. 

Carolina Skiff claims Watson failed to promote or purchase the two boats and instead sold them the day after entering into the marketing agreement. 

Carolina Skiff also claims Watson deceived the company into contributing to a charity that doesn’t exist. 

According to the lawsuit, Carolina Skiff made $20,000 donations on Feb. 9, 2017, and Feb. 23, 2018, to “The Sunday Afternoon Kids,” a charitable foundation Watson claimed to operate. Watson mentions the foundation on his fishing guide website, but Carolina Skiff said in a statement on Aug. 2 that Watson’s foundation is not recognized by the state of Georgia.

The civil lawsuit accuses Watson of breach of contract, unjust enrichment and fraud.

Watson’s wife, Pamela J. Watson, has also been implicated in Forsyth County as part of civil suits and criminal investigations. She was arrested in late July on charges of deposit account fraud. 

Watson is being held in the Forsyth County Jail under a bond of $44,460.

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