Lawyer of Former Oaseas Owner Speaks Out About Embezzling Allega - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Lawyer of Former Oaseas Owner Speaks Out About Embezzling Allegations

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As the criminal investigation surrounding Oaseas Resorts continues, legal counsel for the former owner at the center of major allegations is speaking out to News 13.

It's an effort, said Criminal Defense Attorney, Rusty Shepard, to set the record straight, adding his client has a clear conscience.

That client is Marty McDaniel. The long time Bay County businessman stepped down from his position at the helm of Oaseas Resorts in March of this year.

Now, he's been accused of potentially embezzling more than two million dollars from the company; a company already facing heat for not paying its condo owners before closing unexpectedly this month.

"Mr. McDaniel has nothing to hide," said Shepard.

McDaniel has faced heat, both from the public and former employees, since it was announced that the resort management company was closing.

Among the growing stack of complaints from condo owners alleging they have not been paid for June and July, one incident report points directly to McDaniel, filed by former employee and now Oaseas owner, Tom Duggan.

In it, Duggan states McDaniel may have "stolen or moved" 2.2 million dollars since 2008; but Shepard says those claims don't stand up and they have proved it.

"Mr. McDaniel has cooperated fully in his investigation of Oaseas. I can confirm that after speaking with law enforcement officers, Mr. McDaniel was advised that he was not a target, but much more likely a witness," he said.

Shepard said they have provided extensive financial statements in open book fashion to the federal and state agencies involved in this very extensive investigation.

"The target of this investigation I would think would be very concerned. I don't believe Mr. McDaniel has anything to be concerned about given what I know about his actions," added Shepard.

News 13 asked Shepard why McDaniel would feel it necessary to come forward, considering his conscience is clear.

"I don't know that he wanted to come forward and clear his name, I think that his name was mentioned in a criminal investigation. It's certainly been in the media. The media reports have been accurate in that they have reported what people have said about Mr. McDaniel; however, what people have said about him is incorrect," said Shepard.

News 13 attempted to contact Mr. Duggan Tuesday afternoon following this interview to discuss his report to police and how he feels about the developments of McDaniel's role in the case, but was unable to reach him.