Claims Rise Against Oaseas Resorts - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Claims Rise Against Oaseas Resorts

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135. That's the sheer amount of claims filed with the Panama City Beach Police Department against former Oaseas Resorts since they closed with only an email warning last week.

Those claims coming mainly from condo owners who accuse the rental management company of not paying up

Investigators say the claims continue to grow and they could reach 299 claims before it's said and done. That number is what the PD has been able to determine is the total amount of potential victims.

"There's a fine line. Sometime's it's just poor management of money and sometimes it's where people tap into someone else's money and use it for their own benefit, so it's a fine line. We're trying to determine which side of the line they're on," said Police Chief, Drew Whitman.

Whitman said they have been joined by two federal agencies as well as four state agencies, including the State's Attorney's Office, in order to investigate any potential criminal activity from the rental management company.

The majority of claims deal with a loss of revenue by condo owners who are alleging Oaseas has not paid up on rentals for June and July. Now, this closure could mean they will not see that money.

Then there's the claim against former Oaseas Resorts owner, Marty McDaniel from General Manager, Tom Duggan. In that report, Duggan accused McDaniel of embezzling more than 2 million dollars from his company.

Since that report became public knowledge, Whitman says there have been cries by the public to arrest McDaniel and others.

What Whitman says he will not do is rush an extensive and complicated case or put someone in jail before the proper evidence comes to light. He's asking for the public's patience.

"I think any time when people don't get their money...they rent these out, this is their lively hood and some people are struggling with the crash of 2008, they spent a lot of money of these condos and they're trying to make it back...They didn't get their money and they want somebody in jail. What we've got to make sure is there's something with criminal intent before we throw someone in jail. There's a lot of investigation that has to go into this. We have to go through books, we have to check everything else to see what actually happened with the money and where it went," said Whitman

Those wanting to file a claim can do so in one of three ways: on Facebook, over the phone or through the department's website.

  1. Go to the Panama City Beach Police Department web page: www.beachpolice.org
  2. Click on "press releases"
  3. Click on "Oaseas complaint form"
  4. Follow the instructions on the complaint form